Will vaccinated seniors need a COVID-19 booster shot in the fall? Doctor weighs in

As more Americans receive their COVID-19 vaccination daily, many are wondering how long they'll be effective for and whether some people will require booster shots at some point.

Dr. Elizabeth Hudson, Regional Chief of Infectious Diseases for Kaiser Permanente, joined Eyewitness News to discuss the vaccine and answered a question from one viewer who wanted to know whether seniors who were vaccinated in February will need a booster shot in the fall.

Dr. Hudson said while we only have six months worth of data on the vaccines because that's how long we've been using them, it's hard to tell.

"But day-by-day, we learn more and more about them and it really does appear that the response and protection from these COVID vaccines is going to be durable," she said. "I think at minimum, a year and likely longer but with everything COVID, time will tell."



New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week suggests the protection from the Moderna vaccine lasts for at least six months. That report echoes what Pfizer said a week before about its vaccine, which works in a similar way.

Both reports were based on follow-up tests in dozens of people who received the shots during studies that led to the vaccines' use. Those studies were done before troubling new variants, or versions of the coronavirus, had emerged and started to spread.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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