Experts say COVID-19 booster shots could be next step in fighting virus

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — As COVID-19 cases continue to soar, the nation’s top doctors are talking about booster shots.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee recommended the shots last week. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval could come soon.

“When we reduce the amount of infection in the population, we reduce the opportunity of another variant appearing,” said Thomas Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at IUPUI.

Experts are predicting COVID-19 booster shots could be the next step in fighting the virus.

“We can give people another vaccine that is exactly like the first one that will reenergize your immune. It gives it a boost of new antibodies,” Duszynsk said.

Duszynski said the more antibodies you have, the more protected you’ll be against infection, hospitalization and severe consequences. 

“With these types of viruses, the coronaviruses and influenza viruses, we tend to need new vaccine every year,” said Dr. Shaun Grannis, vice president for data and analytics at Regenstrief Institute.

The CDC recommends a booster shot eight months after your second dose of the vaccine.

“The booster shot eight months after your shot, why is that?” Dr. Grannis said. “Think about the influenza vaccine. Every 12 months, we get an updated influenzas vaccine. What we’re starting, I think, to see is that we’re beginning to move into that pattern.”

He says details on the exact dosage and method of a booster are still forthcoming.

“We could expect similar symptoms after the vaccine,” Dr. Grannis said.

Experts predict, like flu vaccines, we could see a new vaccine every year; that’s because the virus changes and our bodies memory of that virus changes.

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