The jury's still out on whether anyone will need COVID booster shots

There is no evidence to suggest that anyone already vaccinated against coronavirus requires a booster. It could be difficult to decide who and when they need one.The news: As vaccination rates slow down, the more transmissible Delta strain of the virus has spread throughout the U.S. This has raised new concerns among Americans, as well as many people who have been vaccinated, about how long they will be protected from COVID.Axios Markets keeps you up-to-date on the most recent market trends and economic insights. Register now for a free subscriptionThe big picture: There is still a lot to be gathered. However, evidence is emerging that booster shots can boost the immune response of those who have been vaccinated.However, it is not clear if anyone will need to have a third dose of mRNA.New questions are being raised about whether Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine (which has a lower efficacy than the Moderna and Pfizer shots) may require a booster.State of play: Boosters could be used in one of two scenarios: If a new vaccine-resistant variant is developed, or if data eventually shows that the protection of vaccinated peoples has declined over time, then boosters would be provided.Protection against the virus does not disappear overnight. It is possible that mRNA vaccines might be 70% effective against new variants of the virus. This would be a significant improvement on their current efficacy, which is more than 90%.A lower level of protection could lead to more people getting sick. However, mild infections are rare and rarely cause death.It is not free to give Americans another shot, politically or financially.It is an administrative, logistical, and cost-intensive task to administer a third dose. John Moore, Cornell virologist, said that it is not an easy decision.A large portion of the world still awaits their first round. The most pressing problem in America isn't booster shots. It's getting more people vaccinated by the first round of shots.Yes, but: Evidence of a decline in virus immunity could lead to domestic political pressure that could be used for another round.We are watching: Certain populations are more likely than others to require a boost.Continue the storyAccording to the BBC, emerging data shows that immunocompromised patients could greatly benefit from a third shot. The U.K. plans to give one to certain groups, including seniors.Bottom line: Vaccine protection is not the same as disease severity. There's no data to determine when a booster might be needed.Axios Markets has more: Subscribe to receive the most recent market trends from Axios Markets. Register now for a free subscription