Will you need a COVID-19 booster shot? Here’s what you need to know

Here's what we know

Earlier this year, the CEO of Pfizer said data from their trial indicates antibodies will eventually wear off, and in the future, people will need a booster shot.

However, Dr. Robert Atmar, an infectious disease doctor at Baylor College of Medicine and national co-chair for the NIH study on booster shots, said at this point, a booster shot is not recommended.

“The vaccines that are available, work well against the viruses that are circulating,” Atmar said.

For people wanting to plan ahead to travel in the fall or over the holidays, he said it’s to early to know if a booster shot will be necessary.

“I’d say it’s too early to know,” Atmar said. “I don’t really know whether we’re going to need a booster. My suspicion is that we will at some point in the future. SARS-COV-2 has shown the ability to change and mutate and make new strains, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up something like influenza where we need periodic boosters because of whatever is circulating. If we’re lucky, that won’t happen and just being primarily vaccinated will be good enough.”

There are three groups currently enrolled in his study where vaccinated participants were given a booster of another type of shot. The data for whether that’s helpful in protecting long-term against COVID could be available as early as the end of this summer.