Two of the bigger stories about COVID-19 over the past week are ones having to do with COVID-19 vaccines. There's the story about the pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because six people, out of seven million people who received the vaccine wound up with what the CDC characterizes as "a rare and severe type of blood clot." The other big COVID story is that Pfizer and Moderna are saying people who have received their COVID vaccines might need a third booster shot.

So who determines whether or not we need to get a booster, or whether a COVID-19 vaccine becomes a yearly immunization shot?

The news on this front, in my opinion is good. It's not the pharmaceutical companies. According to Business Insider, Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that decision will be made by public health officials.

Business Insider is reporting that Fauci told NBC's Meet the Press Moderator Chuck Todd,  "It is not going to be a decision that is made by a pharmaceutical company. We're partners with them because they're supplying it. It'll be an FDA/CDC decision. The CDC will use their advisory committee and immunization practices the way they always do."

Both the CEO of Pfizer and the Chief Commercial Officer with Moderna have made statements that indicate they think people will need a booster shot in the future for the vaccine to continue to work.

There's a decent chance that these CEO's are right, as clinical trials indicate the vaccine's efficacy lasts at least six months, but beyond that it's not really known how long the vaccine can protect people from COVID-19. That said, I'm more comfortable letting public health officials make that decision. Not big pharmaceutical companies trying to make a profit.

According to Business Insider, "Fauci said that the CDC will use its advisory committee and the same immunization practices that they always do, which involves officials examining the durability of the vaccine over time by measuring the level of antibodies still present after a period of time."

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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