Development underway for COVID-19 vaccine boosters

WASHINGTON, DC — As more Americans are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, doctors say it’s likely a follow-up will be needed.

Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. are fully vaccinated.

Health officials say whether you’ve gotten one or both vaccine shots, that protection will start to weaken over time.

“It’s highly likely that in a reasonable amount of time, we’re going to end up requiring boosters,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The manufacturers of all three vaccines approved in the U.S. are now focused on potential booster shots.

Moderna has been working on a booster shot to fight variants like the ones first seen in South Africa and Brazil.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is a one-dose shot, but the company is testing a two-dose approach to see if that’s more effective.

And Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said they’re still working on trials for a booster shot which could be available by October.

“Likely there would be a need for a booster somewhere between eight and 12 months,” he said.

But that timeline remains unclear, according to Dr. Atul Grover from the Association of American Medical Colleges, who was fully vaccinated in January.

“Once winter hits, am I going to have to get a booster or are we going to see enough new variants that we are going to need to get everybody new shots anyway,” he said.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are looking into whether a booster specific to COVID-19 variants will also be needed.