Currently three coronavirus vaccines are authorized for emergency use in the United States — the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for ages 12 and older, the two-dose Moderna vaccine for ages 18 and older and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines for ages 18 and older.
Researchers and health officials suspect that the immunity against Covid-19 these vaccines elicit in the body might wane over long periods of time — say, possibly, after a year or more — and might not protect as well against coronavirus variants that could emerge and evolve.
Therefore, a vaccinated person might need a booster dose of vaccine to stay protected against the original coronavirus strain and newly emerging variants — somewhat similar to how a tetanus booster is recommended every 10 years or different flu vaccines are recommended each year.
Will booster doses or new vaccines be needed?
In the case of Covid-19 vaccines it remains unknown for how long immune protection lasts, but vaccine developers and health officials know it may not be forever — and that emerging variants could escape immunity.
“There is a little nuance with Covid-19 vaccines,” Moss said.
While typical booster doses use same vaccine someone previously received to remind the immune system about immunity to a pathogen, any future boosters for the Covid-19 shot could use different vaccines altogether.
But Americans should prepare to have a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot within a year, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday.
“We have to see how long the protection lasts. We know it lasts at least six months, but we’ll have to see,” Murthy said. “It’s very possible, though, and people should be prepared for the fact that we may need a booster within a year.”
How often will you need a Covid-19 booster?
Despite such predictions, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN the bottom line is “we don’t know.”
“We’re preparing for the eventuality that we might need boosters, but I think we’ve got to be careful not to let the people know that inevitably, x number of months from now, everyone’s going to need a booster. That’s just not the case,” Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said at a Washington Post Live event. “We may not need it for quite a while.”
Scientists at a number of companies that make Covid-19 vaccines have also predicted the need for boosters within a year — but the scientific community is not in widespread agreement on this.
“We’re making extrapolations” from incomplete data, Fauci…