LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The FDA announced Wednesday they’re recommending vaccinated adults receive an additional COVID booster after research showed the effectiveness of the first two doses may dip over time.
The announcement sparked questions, with many wondering how the extra doses would work or if it was even necessary.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, these COVID boosters are simply an additional way of continuing to defend yourself against the virus. With the Delta variant surging across the United States, health leaders hope the rollout of boosters will help stop the spread and keep COVID patients out of overfull hospitals.
There are two separate recommendations: receive a third dose 28 days after shot #2 for the immunocompromised, or a booster 8 months after being immunized for everyone else.
As Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health explained, not all vaccines last for life.
“Over time, their antibody levels that they developed, in the beginning, will wane,” Dillaha said.
That’s where the booster comes in, an identical formula to the first and second COVID vaccine doses geared towards keeping your immune system up to par against the pandemic. “It’s the same vaccine, same dose,” Dillaha said. “There’s no difference”.
Dillaha adds the identical doses will make it easier to distribute, with clinics adding the shots to their offerings when boosters roll out next month.
Frontline workers vaccinated in December and January will take their third stab at the vaccine starting in September.
Dillaha recommends not dragging your feet to get that extra boost.
“You don’t want to wait too long because then people would become increasingly vulnerable,” she said.
Dillaha adds COVID vaccines may end up being a seasonal shot like the flu vaccine. Right now, boosters are currently only recommended for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – the Johnson and Johnson booster is still being researched.