A top emergency care doctor explains why she's not boosted - but she's making sure her mom gets a third shot before the holidays

Dr. Celine Gunder is an epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist at NYU and Bellevue Hospital. Celine Gounder
According to a New York infectious disease specialist, she has not yet received a third booster shot even though she is eligible.

Dr. Celine Gounder recommends that her mother, who is a senior citizen, be boosted at least two weeks prior to holiday travel.

"What if you find out that getting a third dose after six months isn't as effective as waiting one year? She said.

Dr. Celine Gunder is a leading American infectious disease doctor and takes care of patients in one of the country's largest hospitals.

She's a frontline worker who is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. For several weeks, she has been eligible for a booster shot. She hasn't.

Insider reported that she had not received a third dose. "I personally am still waiting to see what science has to say about longer-term immunity, and what might make sense.

She is confident that her initial shots provide her with long-term protection from severe illness, hospitalizations, and death due to COVID-19. She has only one family member who she urges to get boosted as soon as possible.

Why she cares more about her mom

Gounder stated, "My mom is the one in our family that, in my view, really needs a third dose. It is an elderly person."

People over 65, who have naturally weaker immune systems, need stronger and more frequent vaccinations. There is not enough evidence to support the idea that additional shots are necessary for adults in the short term.

Gounder advised her mother to coordinate her booster shot with holiday travel plans.

Gounder stated, "What I told her was to wait until two weeks prior Thanksgiving because we don’t really know what long-term this means." "This will give you your peak antibodies in time for Thanksgiving.

Moderna and Pfizer booster shots tend to increase people's antibodies levels. This peak occurs about two weeks after the third shot. Recent data from Israel suggests that boosters may help to stop the spread of the virus.

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Studies show that most people are still well protected against severe COVID-19 even after 6-8 months.

Gounder stated that she is frustrated by younger people who have decided to get boosted and think they are forever protected and don't need to worry about it ever again.

Gounder stated that these vaccines do not provide sterilizing immunity, completely eliminating the risk of sickness and infection in its mildest forms.

She cites new studies showing that memory B-cell reactions, which can produce neutralizing antibodies as required, are still intact six to eight weeks after vaccination.

"What if you find out that getting a third dose after six months isn't as effective as waiting one year? She said.

Dr. Rachel Presti is the medical director at Washington University in St. Louis' Infectious Disease Clinical Research Unit. She studies exactly this by studying people's memories about vaccination over time with her colleagues.

Presti stated that, in general, it's not clear that the additional dose is giving you more bang for your buck if you are younger than 50 and have been fully vaccinated by Moderna or Pfizer.

Presti believes that people have the power to make their own decisions regarding boosters. Presti explained that a young person who was vaccinated nine months ago may be traveling to visit an elderly relative or live with someone with immunocompromised. They might choose to boost their protection "to sort maximize" it, at least temporarily.

Gounder is not taking this approach. Gounder is still waiting for the results of studies like Presti's to determine if other proactive measures can be taken to prevent a coronavirus outbreak. These include indoor masking, outdoor dining and avoiding socializing in public.

Some research has suggested that boosting too soon could cause interference with the learning process of our immune system.

Presti believes that it is unlikely that any extra boosting will cause harm. However, her latest research shows that people's lymph nodes "still working to perfect their immune response against the original vaccine six month later."

It is possible to interfere with this process by encouraging too quickly.

She spoke out about too-frequent boosts, saying that there is a small chance that they won't work.

Presti said that the science is still being developed. He says that immunologists are working to determine the best timing of doses as they go.

She is confident boosters will one day be recommended for adults.

Experts, including Presti, believe that the timing of the first and second doses was too short to produce a lasting, robust immune response. In this way, booster shots could be considered the last stage of an initial vaccination series.

Gounder stated that more space between the first and second doses would be better. However, even with what we have, it might still be fine.

The wealthy are being given a boost, but this won't stop the virus from spreading.

Experts agree that giving extra shots to people who aren't getting any shots is not going to work if they don't get any shots.

"I believe we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what we are actually doing." Gounder stated. "It almost seems like people are lining up for the latest whatever it is."

Gounder laments that the US has favored this everyone-for-themselves approach to vaccination, treating booster doses like new iPhones, instead of public health tools.

She stated that "it is only the most privileged who can get as much as they wish, and the less fortunate will not, and the more vulnerable won't,"

It doesn't matter if people know it or not, this sets everyone back in long-term.

Gounder stated, "If you give dose after dosage to an individual, and there's a lot circulating virus around them in their community, they are still at danger." "I believe that this still hasn’t really gotten across."

Business Insider has the original article.