COVID booster shots could be needed, annual shots not out of the question


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While some are still awaiting their first COVID-19 vaccine, the Biden Administration is “in discussions” to ensure it can obtain booster shots if they become necessary.

Dr. David Kessler, chief science officer for the administration’s COVID-19 response, told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis no decision had been made yet.

Studies on vaccine efficacy is ongoing, but recent reports suggest both Pfizer and Moderna provide protection for at least six months.

Federal health officials say a potential booster shot, which both Pfizer and Moderna announced they were working on, would be similar to the original vaccine but adjusted to better protect against COVID variants.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Thursday a “likely scenario” is that there would be a need for a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months after getting the second dose, and also said an annual vaccine was not out of the question.

R.I. Department of Health consultant medical director Dr. James McDonald says the need for these kinds of shots is still uncertain.

“I don’t know that it will be every year. I think we’ll have to wait and see right now, but I think it’s one of those things where I’m far more interested in everybody getting their first of the vaccines done,” McDonald said. “But, let’s wait and see. And if there’s a booster in a year, there’s a booster in a year.”

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