CDC not currently recommending boosters for COVID-19 vaccines
MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that at this time they are not recommending booster doses of any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the United States.
Dr. Jim Conway, the medical director of the UW Health Immunization Program, and professor of pediatrics and infectious disease specialist at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, says it might be a while before those recommendations are made.
“There is still so much to learn,” Dr. Conway said. “How long immunity persists after vaccines, what kinds of reactions people might have with additional doses, and do the vaccines need to be updated for new strains of SARS-CoV2... it’s just too soon to know whether we will all need to have booster shots like we do for the flu.”
The CDC says that booster shots are recommended following an initial vaccination series to extend the immunity they provide. Because the virus and vaccine are novel, there is no evidence for needing booster shots at this time, according to the CDC.
Dr. Conway says that there are scenarios that booster shots may become needed, such as for immuno-compromised individuals or in response to emerging variants that become resistant to vaccines.
“Once more countries around the world, and more communities in the United States, have been vaccinated with the available supply, it may be conceivable for high-risk populations, like people 65 years old and older, organ transplant recipients and perhaps healthcare workers to receive booster shots eventually,” Dr. Conway said.
For now, Dr. Conway says that the priority needs to be continuing to provide vaccines to those who are not yet vaccinated.
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