CDC director: Annual COVID-19 dose after booster not anticipated

CDC director: Annual COVID-19 dose after booster not anticipated
© Greg Nash

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyEurope's COVID-19 surge highlights warnings for US Tensions emerge over redefining the fully vaccinated Israel begins vaccinating kids aged 5 to 11 MORE on Thursday said that while the CDC is recommending booster COVID-19 shots, annual shots going forward may not be necessary.

"You know, this virus has been humbling, so I don't want to say never, but we are not necessarily anticipating that you will need this annually," Walensky said told host Tony Dokoupil during an appearance on "CBS This Morning." 

"It does look like after this third dose you get a really robust response, and so we will continue to follow the science both on the vaccine side but also on the virus side," she said.

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The administration announced the booster shot initiative on Wednesday, saying that it would begin on Sept. 20 and that people are recommended to get a third shot eight months after their second shot, if they have taken the Moderna or Pfizer two-shot vaccinations. 

A worsening surge of new COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant led the CDC to embrace booster shots, despite opposition from some scientists who want the focus to be on getting unvaccinated people the vaccine. 

"We have several studies that have demonstrated waning effectiveness and 10 million people in New York State and 80,000 people in the Mayo Clinic, and as well in the delta variant in health care workers," Walensky said. "We've also been in collaboration and discussions with our international colleagues and they are starting to see ... presentation of worsening infection in the context of their breakthroughs."

"And so our plan now is to get ahead of that. We don't want to start to see that in this country," she added, stating that the country currently has enough vaccine to offer booster shots.

President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE in an ABC interview aired on Thursday that he and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Biden meets with Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Biden calls in to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 'America's back' MORE will be receiving booster shots.

“It’s something that I think, you know, because we got our shots all the way back in I think December, so it’s past time,” Biden told ABC's George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosHarris says 2024 is 'absolutely not' being discussed yet with Biden Harris says she doesn't feel underused in Biden administration The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Gosar censured as GOP drama heightens MORE. "Yes, we will get the booster shots."