Could we see another COVID booster shot?

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NEWS AT A GLANCE

Doctors say COVID booster shots wear off after four months. However, it is the best option to avoid hospitalization if you contract COVID-19.

The first report representing actual data on the durability and protection of COVID-19 recall in America was released Friday by the CDC. After four months, the effectiveness of the COVID-19 booster decreases. But it still offers significant protection, preventing people from going to the hospital amid the omicron surge.

Robert Hawkes is the Physician Assistant Program Director at FGCU. Hawkes says that a decrease in recall effectiveness is expected since effectiveness naturally declines over time.

So, will there be another booster? “It’s going to be really similar to the flu shot, that ultimately it’s kind of going to be an annual event. As immunity wanes and new variants emerge, new vaccines or new boosters will be developed to give us that extra extra protection,” Hawkes said.

According to the CDC, during the omicron variant, the vaccine’s effectiveness against hospitalizations increased from 71% within two months of vaccination to 54% about five months after.

When delta was the dominant strain, vaccine efficacy fell from 96% to 76%.

Hawkes told WINK News that studies like this are helpful because they give us the opportunity to look back and see what worked and what didn’t. “Really, what that means is that the boosters are effective. While yes, they are losing effectiveness, they are still very effective after that four month period,” Hawkes said. “So I think those are all very positive things.”

“Any vaccine that is again 78% effective in preventing hospitalizations is really doing its job,” Hawkes said.

Dr. John Edwards is the director of Mama’s chiropractic clinic in Cape Coral. “I think understanding sustainability is very important. But what I’d like to see more of is understand who is really at risk of getting COVID? And how can we protect them as best we can? Edwards said.

Hawkes was able to tell us what we should focus on as these variants continue to evolve. “The big thing is really trying to reduce disease transmission,” Hawkes said.

“But also, more importantly, if someone is sick and sick, don’t go out, because that’s really what’s going to allow the virus to spread and faster, just kind of some of the normal things that we have been used to over the past two years,” Hawkes said.

The CDC said the report is considered an early and limited look at the durability of surge protection during the omicron surge. The variant exploded in December and January but has declined in recent weeks.

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