CDC Director says yearly COVID booster shots may not be necessary

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(WHEC/CNBC) — President Joe Biden Wednesday announced plans to start rolling out third-dose booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but COVID-19 booster shots may not become an annual treatment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday that the third shot may sufficiently strengthen the long-term protection of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccines, and yearly boosters may not be necessary.

In a separate interview Thursday on NBC’s “TODAY,” she cited other vaccines, like hepatitis B, that require two primer shots, followed by a booster, saying scientists think the COVID-19 vaccine may similarly provide long-term protection after three doses.

Health officials are still evaluating whether recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine will need a supplemental dose.

If granted formal authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended by a CDC vaccine advisory panel, the distribution of booster doses for Moderna and Pfizer recipients will begin on Sept. 20.