COVID-19 booster shots may be months away for more people
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Booster shots are in high demand in Alabama and across the country, but so far they are still limited to certain groups. When can more people get a chance at boosting their immune system against COVID-19? It could still be a few months before more people can get those shots.
Right now, the booster shots are limited to those 65 and older, and those who are 18 and older who have health conditions or work in high-risk jobs such as dealing with the public or medical care.
Booster shots are in demand in Alabama. Thousands have already been given to those in the eligible categories. They are also popular in Jefferson County. “We are still seeing people come for booster shots and we are very glad for that. That is what we see after a period of time, your body doesn’t hold on to that immune response,” Dr. Wesley Willeford with JCDH said.
Dr. Willeford is an Infectious Disease Doctor at the Jefferson County Department of Health. It’s still going to be a few more months before other people become eligible for the booster shots. One reason is to ensure there’s enough supply to provide vaccinations to those who can get it now, but the other reason is to get more data and study the impact of a booster shot on those who are healthy.
“That it’s going to be beneficial, and the benefits are going to outweigh the risks. A lot goes into evaluating all of that. It’s a bit of a slow process, " Willeford said.
Dr. Willeford said they have to see if these people are also seeing a decline in immunity after two or six months like those who can currently get the booster shots. The infectious disease doctor does believe that some of those who are not eligible might be getting those third or second shots (in the case of Johnson and Johnson) in the state. “If a person says they have an issue that warrants them for a vaccine, people are not being challenged on that. The point of that is to make these vaccines accessible to people,” Willeford said.
Dr. Willeford said give it a few more months before more people can get their chance at those booster shots. The CDC has okayed mixing booster shots, so you don’t have to get the same vaccine as you did originally. Check with your doctor about getting a booster.
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