The coronavirus pandemic isn’t over. But it doesn’t sound like you’ll need another COVID-19 vaccine booster shot just yet.
What’s happening: New research suggests that vaccinated individuals may not need another round of booster shots for years.
- The three-dose regimen — or simply two shots — can protect people from severe COVID-19 and death for years to come, experts told The New York Times.
Yes, but: Vulnerable populations — immunocompromised people and the elderly — may need a fourth shot to stay safe. Most people won’t, experts said.
- For example, Sweden’s public health department recommended people 80 years old and older receive a second COVID-19 booster shot, which would be a fourth shot overall, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.
What they said: “We’re starting to see now diminishing returns on the number of additional doses,” John Wherry, director of the Institute for immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, told The New York Times.
- “If people are exposed to another variant like Omicron, they now got some extra ammunition to fight it,” Dr. Julie McElrath, an infectious disease physician and immunologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told The New York Times.
The bottom line: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is effective at stopping severe symptoms and hospitalizations from COVID-19 for at least four months.
- A recent study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that antibodies that fight COVID-19 often become stronger and smarter to tackle the novel coronavirus for at least six months after vaccination.