CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – There have been a lot of questions concerning booster shots and a possible third dose for two of the COVID-19 vaccines. Health professionals are still working to answer those questions, but here’s what they do know.
“We are finding out as we go. As we all know this is a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” Dr. Jessica McColley, Chief Medical Officer of Cabin Creek Health Systems said.
With 117,000,000 Americans fully vaccinated as of this Monday, questions are still circulating about how long the vaccine will protect against COVID-19.
“We don’t know yet how long those antibodies will last in your system. We anticipate that will likely become a seasonal thing kind of like the flu shot,” McColley said.
What scientists do know is a shot in the arm is better than nothing as health professionals fight to reach heard immunity and break through vaccine hesitancy as the virus continues to take American lives.
“It’s not something that has been out for very long and we just had it out for this year, but I think once they get to know that COVID is actually killing more we need to get people vaccinated,” Melinda Embrey, a registered nurse, said.
Experts remind people that Moderna and Pzfizer vaccines are up to 95% effective against severe COVID-19 infection, while Johnson and Johnson vaccine is up to 75% effective. All three vaccines decrease the risk of transmission and getting ill from the virus.
In case people do need booster shots soon, health professionals don’t expect it to be a problem.
“I don’t think it will gum up the system trying to cover boost doses for people who are already fully vaccinated to have initial vaccination doses needed because we do have so much supply and have the ability to have more,” McColley said.
Just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12-15, and health organizations are going to be targeting that age group starting as early as Thursday morning.