BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Research continues into whether a COVID-19 booster shot will be needed for the mRNA vaccines, but the state told WBRC they have thought about how the rollout of the booster shot would happen.
State health officer Dr. Scott Harris said he suspected booster shots were going to be needed, based on preliminary information from studies but when they would be needed was still up in the air.
“We know right now that at least with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine those offer at least six months of protection. We know that because we’ve been following these patients now for 6 months. Next month we’re likely to say it offers 7 months of protection, Harris said.
Health experts aren’t sure how long protection lasts for any of the COVID-19 vaccines but state Harris said if booster shots are recommended in the future the rollout would look differently than the initial offering of COVID vaccines.
“Probably there won’t be the same sort of logistical requirements because by the time this is established, and we have some guidelines about when boosters might be needed, we expect to have the vaccine widely available, we expect to have plenty to around, and we expect to push that out to our normal healthcare infrastructure,” Harris explained.
As for whether people would go back for the booster shots, Harris was not sure.
“I certainly hope so. We don’t know if a booster shot is needed in a year or five years. All vaccines are different. We give flu shots to people once a year. We give tetanus shots every 10 years. We give Measles shots, two in your lifetime, and you never need another one,” he said.
The Pfizer CEO has stated a booster shot may be needed within 12 months and Moderna’s CEO says they plan to have a booster ready by the fall.