Vaccine booster shot likely needed, timing unclear

(CNN) – The number of people in the US getting a COVID-19 vaccine is rising. But even if you’re fully vaccinated, more shots could be in your future. Vaccine makers are now saying people should prepare to get booster shots in the future but health experts are unsure if, and when, that may happen.

It’s still unclear if they are needed or how long the protection from a COVID-19 vaccine regiment lasts, researchers and health officials suspect it may wane after a year or more.

Medical Director of Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Richina Bicette said, “Both the Pfizer and Moderna’s CEOs have some out and said that they believe that booster shots are going to be needed within eight to twelve months from your first dose because of the data they’re seeing. Now we can only assume that means because of the immunity they’re following from people who were in their clinical trials. But they haven’t released that data just yet.”

The CDC maintains the need for, and timing, of a possible booster hasn’t been established yet. What is widely known is that vaccination rates continue climbing at a stubbornly slow rate. Daily numbers are down nearly 50% since its peak last month according to the CDC.

In California, lower demand means residents will notice fewer mass vaccination sites like the one that operated out of Dodger Stadium. They’ll instead see smaller popup locations like the one at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre.

L.A. County Department of Public Health Chief Science Officer Dr. Paul Simon said, “Now that we’ve vaccinated, a significant portion of our population we’re left with a residual group that aren’t all necessarily opposed to vaccinations but they’re not quite as motivated to be vaccinated.”

From a chance to get the hottest tickets in town to the possibility of winning million-dollar jackpots, states all over the country are hoping to make it harder for people to pass on a shot.

And if you’re among the nearly 39% of Americans now fully vaccinated, one Chicago restaurant owner welcomes you to the other side.

Sam Sanchez with Moe’s Cantina said, “You’re free to come on this side and go to the bar. You’re actually pre-pandemic.” No social distancing or plexiglass dividers needed in the “vaccinated only” section of Sanchez’ establishment. The city says it’s ok for businesses to operate with no restrictions so long as customers are vaccinated.

Emergency room physician Dr. Rob Davidson said, “As we keep doing this, I think it’s a great thing. I think again the CDC has shown that the science shows that if you’ve been vaccinated, you’re protected.”

Thursday night, 15,000-thousand people will fill New York’s Madison Square Garden to watch in person as the Knicks face off against the Atlanta Hawks. Organizers say it will be the largest indoor event in New York State since the start of the pandemic.

People in India are continuing to grapple with an unprecedented surge of COVID cases with the country now surpassing 26.5 million cases with more than 3,000 COVID deaths a day for the past month.

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