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How Long Will COVID Vaccine Boosters Be Necessary?

A nurse prepares a Moderna vaccination at a Columbus vaccine clinic.
Dan Konik
Ohio Public Radio

State health leaders are preparing to offer booster shots to healthy Ohioans who are eight months out from their last Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose. That has some people asking if COVID vaccine booster shots will become permanent.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said booster shots will likely be needed until enough Ohioans develop immunity to stop the virus from spreading and mutating.

“And because we will all have quite a bit of immunity, the virus that is out there will begin to look to us a whole lot more than the common cold,” he said.

Vanderhoff has said he doesn’t know how many people will need to be vaccinated for that community immunity to happen. Right now, 55% of Ohioans over 12-years-old have been fully immunized against COVID.

The CDC announced a plan on Wednesday for all U.S. adults who received a two-dose vaccine would be eligible for an additional jab of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine eight months from when they got their second one, NPR reported.

The new plan is contingent on a data review and subsequent endorsement by both the Food and Drug Administration and an advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to NPR

The CDC and the FDA had previously only recommended the booster shots for immunocompromised people, NPR reported.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.