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Moderna and Pfizer seek approval for a second COVID-19 booster for adults over 65

A sign promoting available COVID-19 vaccines stands outside a vaccination clinic in Providence, R.I., Thursday, March 3, 2022.
David Goldman
A banner at the Mount Carmel West campus in Columbus on Jan. 30, 2019.

A doctor from Mount Carmel said it could be time for a fourth vaccination against COVID-19 as Pfizer and Moderna seek approval for a second booster short for adults 65 and over

Dr. Mark Herbert is an infectious disease specialist at the hospital. Herbert said a fourth vaccine may be necessary for everyone as immunity from the disease tends to decrease over time.

“If it’s been three to six months since your last shot, your immunity has fallen to half or perhaps a fourth of what it was shortly after your last shot,” he said.

A study published in the United Kingdom found that immunity from vaccines wanes at an alarming rate six months after receiving the last dose of the vaccine. Immunity can drop to as low as 10% to 20%.

A second booster could return immunity to almost 100% and several months of protection. Herbert said vaccines and boosters continue to be the best way to prevent serious illness.

I think the biggest factor is the new variants have really kind of eluded the antibodies that we naturally produce against the disease, especially in vaccines,” he said.

While many COVID-19 mandates have ended around Columbus, Herbert maintains that people should still mask up for people at risk or those who cannot get the vaccine

Tyler Thompson was a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.