Will I Need A COVID Booster Shot?
The delta variant first identified in India now makes up about 20 percent of all new cases in the United States. Surprisingly, that’s up to ten percent from last week. At this point, experts are discussing when coronavirus booster shots are needed. Due to the delta variant’s fast spread, it looks like booster shots could be needed by the fall.
The U.S. and U.K. have already signaled that they could roll out COVID-19 booster shots within a year. In that case, governments would need to start building booster shot programs-certainly a difficult task knowing the uncertainties of our current state in the pandemic.
So far, this is what we know:
There isn’t much data on whether people should get a booster shot, due to scientists not knowing how long immunity currently lasts. Even more, they are finding whether the shots need to be tweaked to deal with the variants in a more effective way.
When will Booster Shots Go Out?
Booster shots could go out in addition to the current vaccination programs. Over 55 percent of the adult population in the U.S. is vaccinated. Scientists are researching the effects of different vaccine combinations on immunity. For example, in May the U.K. launched the Cov-Boost study, which looks at seven different COVID-19 vaccine combinations.
Why do we Need a Booster Shot?
A booster shot may be needed in order to help health services cope with the fallout of the virus. For this reason, caretakers continue to tend to the health needs of those patients whose treatments have been delayed because of the pandemic.
Equally important is the research behind who will need the booster shot, like the more vulnerable and older population.
Is it Needed?
Despite many people wanting to put the pandemic behind them, more information is needed around immunity. Scientists are working to identify a threshold-what level of immunity is too low to protect people? At the present time, scientists are analyzing blood samples from the first people who were vaccinated a year ago in trials, reviewing antibodies in order to see if they stick around. However, variants can complicate this process.
Studies are underway to determine how long immunity from vaccines lasts and how it varies with variants in the mix. Nonetheless, research continues and the general consensus is to learn more and forge a path forward.
Thanks for reading,
Cam Corbet is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Northwest Health Services and works with healthcare professionals to provide education on important health issues.