Alison Toni felt lucky to get Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine in Chile this year. A month later, she was in Minnesota getting vaccinated again.
Toni, an American living in Chile, was visiting her parents in Minneapolis in April when she got her first Pfizer shot at a CVS pharmacy.
She traveled back for the second dose in June. She did not disclose being previously vaccinated.”They didn’t ask, and I didn’t tell,” said Toni, 55. She took that step after reading that China’s Sinovac vaccine had a lower efficacy than the Pfizer Inc shot, developed with German partner BioNTech, and the Moderna Inc shot, both widely available in the United States.
Their reasons range from concerns that the vaccines immediately available to them were not effective enough, fears that they require extra protection against the fast-spreading Delta variant, or a need to meet specific requirements for work or travel. Some are seeking medical advice, others are relying on their own research.
She also consulted with her doctor beforehand.Toni is among the group of people coming from abroad who have been vaccinated a second time, or plan to do so, in the United States.
Public health officials have not determined if booster doses are needed for the general population, and there is not yet much data on the relative risks and benefits of complete revaccination.
A few countries are also beginning to offer a third booster dose to their citizens based on evidence that the initial protection from vaccines wanes over time, or that an extra shot may help prevent infection against Delta, particularly for older people or those with weak immune systems.