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Local doctor urges booster shots due to waning COVID immunity

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - All adults in the U.S. will soon be able to get a booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director gave the green light Friday to expand the Moderna and Pfizer eligibility to everyone 18 and older.

The move allows those 18 and older who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine to mix and match shots six months after their initial two doses. Adults who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are already authorized to mix and match booster shots two months after their initial dose.

We spoke to a doctor with Augusta University Health who believes it’s important to do this now. We’re getting into the holiday season and colder weather. That means more things are going to happen inside.

“More things occurring indoors, and more opportunity for the virus to spread,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche.

Wyche thinks this is the time for boosters. COVID cases are rising in Europe. In the past European COVID trends have been a sign of things to come here.

“The best way to provide protection with COVID-19 is through that booster shot,” he said.

He encourages booster shots because of waning immunity. That means as time goes on the number of antibodies you have fighting the virus goes down.

“We continue to see this decrease in neutralizing antibodies, and that’s why we give booster shots in many different vaccines,” said Wyche.

Friday’s announcement clears the way for everyone 18 and older to get a booster shot for the COVID vaccine. Wyche says these shots build your antibody levels back up and they help add to your long-term protection.

“What we’re finding is, as we give this booster dose, that protection will continue at even higher rates than what we saw, and also reduces some transmission,” he said.

We also asked Wyche about boosters for people between 12 and 17. The vaccine has only been available to them for about six months. He says the data is rolling in and he thinks boosters could be available for them down the road.

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