U.S. expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine booster 8 months from second dose

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – United States health officials are expected to recommend a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot eight months after the second dose.

The announcement could come as early as this week.

Families around Tampa Bay previously told 8 On Your Side they have plenty of questions about the possibility of a third shot.

“Is this something where I get it once and I’m going to be good for the next year, two years, for my life?” asked John Dominici.

Federal health leaders announced last week those with weakened immune systems should get a vaccine booster shot.

For those individuals, the third shot is already available at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. The recommendation only applies to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Health leaders say individuals should stick with the same brand as they received for their original vaccinations.

8 On Your Side asked Dr. Jason Wilson with Tampa General Hospital about the booster for immunocompromised individuals.

“Especially our transplant patients have been pretty flat in terms of their antibody response even after the vaccination,” he explained.

“We’re concerned about those patients and we may just need to give them more vaccine,” Dr. Wilson added.

Now, the U.S. government is is expected to recommend the booster shot for all Americans, regardless of age.

Before the third dose can be widely administered it has to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Approval for Pfizer’s vaccine is expected in the coming weeks.

Officials believe healthcare workers, older individuals and those in nursing homes will receive priority for the booster shot.

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