San Diego doctor weighs in on COVID-19 booster shots

Posted at 6:08 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 11:55:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Americans may soon have to roll up their sleeves for a third COVID-19 vaccine shot, as the Biden Administration is expected to recommend booster shots for anyone fully vaccinated against the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration has already authorized the booster shot for those with weakened immune systems. However, with the aggressive delta variant continuing to spread, the FDA said anyone fully vaccinated may need extra protection.

The COVID-19 booster shot would be for people eight months after they've received their second Pfizer or Moderna doses.

Dr. Dennis Burton, with the Dept. of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute, estimated that's when protection against the virus begins to lessen.

“It seems like around that period, very approximately, we seem to have more breakthrough infections so that would be a reasonable time to think about a boost," he said.

This means the earlier you received the vaccine, the sooner you'll need to get the extra shot.

Carrie Hogue said her 75-year-old husband has been fully vaccinated since January or February. Carrie, herself, received her second dose in April. If the couple needed a third dose, she said they wouldn't hesitate to get one.

"As long as the science shows that they're going to be a benefit, then we're all for it," Hogue said.

The main reason for Hogue is because of the dominating delta variant that is known to cause breakthrough infections.

"We are concerned, but we practice safety precautions so hopefully we don't get that," she said.

"The delta variant is a nasty development and a booster shot will likely give you better protection,” Burton said.

He said getting multiple shots is not unusual, adding, "Polio, we get four shots as kids."

According to Burton, those vaccinated that still get infected are less likely to suffer severe symptoms. Ultimately, he said he believes this is still a pandemic of the unvaccinated, who are making the biggest gamble.

"They have all the risk of getting serious disease and hospitalization," Burton said.

Right now, the booster shots would only be recommended for Pfizer and Moderna doses. Burton said studies may still be ongoing for Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shots.