Health officials expect COVID-19 booster shots in coming months

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:17 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise, there’s talk about booster shots among the vaccinated population, and local health officials say that booster shots are a real possibility in the next few months.

“Once the CDC has enough information to say ‘Yes, there is a clear substantiated need for a booster’, I think that’s when the recommendation will come out,” said state vaccination coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula.

He told NBC12 that he believes that we are getting to that point, adding that the CDC has been monitoring antibody levels of people who went through clinical trials, while also looking at breakthrough data from other countries that pushed for boosters, like Israel and the United Kingdom.

Much of the focus has been on people with weakened immune systems.

“That’s the likely first category of individuals because people who are immunosuppressed haven’t been able to mount the same immune response to their initial vaccinations,” Dr. Avula said.

National health officials echo the concern.

“It is extremely important for us to move to get those individuals their boosters,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Vaccine maker Moderna recently said their doses are highly effective for at least six months, adding that a third shot may be necessary before the winter season.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization called for countries to wait on booster shots so vaccine supply can catch up around the globe, but Dr. Avula doesn’t foresee an issue here at home.

“I don’t think it’s a concern about supply. The U.S. has plenty of supply for the remainder of the population who needs to get vaccinated, and those who would need boosters as well,” Dr. Avula said.

Dr. Avula adds that they expect a booster shot recommendation to come down in the coming months and that the state is already planning how to roll them out.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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