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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Greg Nash

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky 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.

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 Biden in an ABC interview aired on Thursday that he and first lady Jill Biden 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 Stephanopoulos. “Yes, we will get the booster shots.”

Tags Booster dose CBS This Morning Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 booster shots George Stephanopoulos Jill Biden Joe Biden Rochelle Walensky ROchelle Walensky

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