Covering Coronavirus: Do vaccines need a boost?

Thursday, September 9, 2021

10 a.m. 11 a.m. PT


The public health message so far has been loud and clear: Vaccines are highly effective against COVID-19 — even more so if you focus on hospitalizations and deaths. Yet a worsening delta surge has cast a growing spotlight on breakthrough infections and the risks they pose to people with compromised immune systems and seniors. New studies have fueled fresh worries about waning vaccine efficacy over time, and large outbreaks among vaccinated Americans have captured media attention. The FDA recently approved booster shots for some immunocompromised Americans and the agency is expected to issue a broader strategy soon. Meanwhile, Israel, perhaps the most vaccinated country in the world, is already delivering booster shots to seniors after a delta-driven surge. In this webinar, we’ll discuss what we know about the effectiveness of vaccines in the face of the delta surge, what role booster shots might play, and how reporters can responsibly report a complex and fast-moving story.


  • Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and associate division chief of the division of HIV, infectious diseases, and global medicine at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital
  • Dhruv Khullar, MD, MPP, contributing writer at The New Yorker, practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Marion Pepper, PhD, associate professor of immunology at the University of Washington