NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - As the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to spread across the United States, there’s been much debate between the CDC and vaccine maker Pfizer on whether or not a third booster shot may be needed to fight the virus.  

The FDA and CDC say Americans do not need a booster shot, while Pfizer says they planned to make a booster to target the delta variant.

'Nothing has changed' after briefing with Pfizer on booster shots

Here in Nashville, Pfizer is moving forward with clinical trials on a booster shot at Clinical Research Associates.

This clinical trial of a Pfizer booster shot is simply working to collect data on whether or not a third shot is needed.

Doctors at Clinical Research Associates say they still don’t have any indication that a booster is necessary because they don’t know how long the vaccine’s protections last.

They say that when COVID cases start appearing in the two-year trial group of vaccinated people, that’s when we’ll know if a booster is necessary. They say it has nothing to do with antibody levels.

They add that that might be years from now or might be months. At some point, they say all vaccines fade and boosters could become necessary.

“It’s not needed for us to have boosters right now, but they want the data on using boosters so when a booster is necessary, they’ll have the data ready and presumably will already have gone through the evaluation process at the FDA, so there won’t be a delay getting boosters out,” said Dr. Stephan Sharp with Clinical Research Associates.

Dr. Sharp says right now they’re not seeing an uptick of COVID cases in the Pfizer vaccinated population.

Dr. William Polk, the first person in Tennessee to receive the Pfizer vaccine after emergency authorization was granted, says a booster trial is a good idea.  

“I think given the rise of the Delta variant, I think it’s a reasonable thing to consider a third shot and I think it’s a very important trial to see whether if you get the vaccine, where it decreases your chance of having a breakthrough case of COVID or not,” Dr. Sharp said.

Pandemic is 'spiraling out of control' due to unvaccinated people, Trump's surgeon general says

COVID cases are on the rise here in Tennessee. 

The Tennessee Department of Health says there has been an over 200 percent increase in cases since July 1.

So far only 38.8 percent of people statewide are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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