You’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Congratulations! You can now resume many activities you halted over the past year. But one question is likely lingering: Will you have to roll up your sleeve again for a booster shot?
Because COVID-19 is still fairly new, this is one of many questions for which we don’t yet have an answer. Here’s what we do (and don’t) know.
Mobeen Rathore, MD, chief of pediatric infectious disease and immunology at Wolfson Children’s Hospital explained, “Viruses, such as the novel coronavirus, mutate all the time when they replicate. This is what creates different variations of the virus. However, they need a vulnerable [unvaccinated] host to infect to do that.”
The more people who get vaccinated, the fewer opportunities the virus has to find a host and evolve. How well the vaccines work against new virus variants will determine whether you’ll need a booster.
The good news is, according to the CDC, evidence thus far suggests current vaccines protect against most known variants. Additionally, studies have shown the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide protection from the virus for at least six months.
However, if the virus continues to mutate, we could encounter a new strain(s) the vaccine won’t protect against. That’s why it’s crucial for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
At Baptist Health, we want to help keep our community informed about COVID-19. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines visit baptistjax.com/covid19vaccine. For questions about COVID-19 symptoms, call 904.420.4842.