We’ll Probably Need Booster Shots for Covid-19. But When? And Which Ones?
As the nation edges closer to President Biden’s goal of a 70 percent vaccination rate, many people are beginning to wonder how long their protection will last.
For now, scientists are asking a lot of questions about Covid-19 booster shots, but they don’t yet have many answers. The National Institutes of Health recently announced that it has begun a new clinical trial of people fully vaccinated — with any authorized vaccine — to see whether a booster of the Moderna shot will increase their antibodies and prolong protection against getting infected with the virus.
Although many scientists estimate that the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines authorized in the United States will last at least a year, no one knows for sure. It’s also unclear whether emerging variants of the coronavirus will change our vaccination needs.
“We’re in uncharted waters here in terms of boosters,” said Dr. Edward Belongia, a physician and epidemiologist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute in Marshfield, Wis.