Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The first COVID-19 vaccines were barely in the arms of doctors and nurses in the United States before people started wondering what might come next. The vaccines would keep them safe, but for how long? Would variants make them less effective? Would everyone need a booster shot in a year or in two years? Could some people get away without that boost?

Those questions were front and center at this week’s meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The group isn’t making recommendations around COVID-19 vaccine boosters yet, but the discussion shows how leading health experts are thinking through the issues.

Here’s what we know so far: the vaccines authorized in the United…

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