New studies suggest fully-vaccinated people should continue COVID-19 safety measures

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Two new real-world studies show that fully vaccinated people may need to continue taking extra precautions against the coronavirus.

Depending on when you got the shot, your immunity may have already significantly dropped.

These new studies published this week in the “New England Journal of Medicine” prove what leaders with the Pfizer vaccine have said all along.

It’s also why one local physician says booster shots are our best bet.

Here’s the good news from two studies of thousands of healthcare workers in Israel and Qatar. Months after being vaccinated with the two Pfizer shots, protection against hospitalization or death stayed above 90 percent.

However, antibody levels of the vaccinated dropped significantly after about two months, especially those over the age of 65, the immunocompromised population, and men.

“And we really need to be thinking about booster shots in a way to help protect us even from mild disease,” said infectious disease expert, Dr. Manoj Jain.

Jain says booster shots can play a vital role in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, more than six million people have received a third dose of vaccine.

Booster shots are offered at all Shelby County Community vaccination sites to the following:

• Those 65 years and older

• 18+ who have underlying medical conditions.

• 18+ who work in high-risk settings, such as hospitals.

“Over time we’re going to get more data on how beneficial it is for the younger population and the non-immunocompromised population. And the FDA will evaluate that data and decide whether we should recommend it for the entire population,” said Jain.

In the meantime, the CDC says booster shots are outpacing those getting the shot for the first time.

Studies show the unvaccinated are the ones primarily filling hospitals.

There is concern for another surge.

“We are very excited to see the numbers go down, however they can plateau,” said Jain. “That downward curve could plateau like it has in UK. We have been following those trends. The best way that we can prevent that from happening, if more and more get vaccinated.”

The FDA approved booster shots for those who received their second shot at least six months ago.

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