(NewsNation) — Updated COVID-19 boosters are now available to target the dominant omicron variant. As the latest vaccine rolls out, White House officials are hinting at the next phase of protection: annual COVID-19 shots.
“In the absence of a dramatically different variant, we likely are moving toward a path with a vaccination cadence similar to that of the annual influenza vaccine, with annual updated Covid-19 shots matched to the currently circulating strains for most of the population,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a White House news briefing Tuesday.
However, Dr. Monica Gandhi says an annual COVID-19 shot might not be necessary.
She says the following signs are good news:
- We have not had a new variant since Nov, 26, 2021
- Hospitalizations are staying low
- Older people are more at risk for a severe breakthrough infection. Europe and the United Kingdom are recommending booster shots for older people.
“I’m not sure if we’re jumping the gun by saying … we need annual booster shots or everyone does. I think older people are going to need them,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi also encouraged people to wait six months after an infection, or a previous booster, to get the new booster shot.
“I would suggest that people look at the data. You do have to space out boosters, or your last infection to have a good response from the booster. So I would recommend six months since your last infection,” Gandhi said. “Say you got omicron in May … Wait until November, or your last booster, because if you give it too soon, you actually abrogate some of your immune response.”