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Should we expect regular or annual COVID-19 booster shots?

This article was published on
August 18, 2021

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SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use the video clips, audio, and comments below in news stories, with attribution to the scientist who made them.

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use the video clips, audio, and comments below in news stories, with attribution to the scientist who made them.

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What our experts say

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Expert Comments: 

Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H.

We really don’t know yet how often we might need repeat COVID shots. Even though the antibody levels have been waning, suggesting we may need boosters periodically, we don’t know that they correlate perfectly with protection from infection. Also, we can’t predict what new variants COVID may throw at us and whether that may necessitate periodic changes and revaccination. So right now, anyone who tells you they can answer that question really can’t do so.

Dorry Segev, M.D. Ph.D.

I have little doubt that at least once a year we’re going to be getting boosters for this virus, either in the form of new vaccines that cover new variants or boosters that take our decreased immune response and help it regain some protection.

Ali Ellebedy, Ph.D.

That will largely depend on how the situation with the variants evolves. So far, I do not see a reason for a regular or annual shot.

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