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Dr. Jerome Adams discusses possibility of yearly COVID-19 vaccinations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dr. Jerome Adams, a former U. S. surgeon general and the WISH-TV medical expert, talked Thursday on News 8 at 5 p.m. about for the fight against COVID-19 this winter.

Americans may need to get a single COVID-19 vaccination every year, federal health officials said Tuesday, making clear that the country will be living with the coronavirus for the foreseeable future.

The former surgeon general under President Donald Trump said the announcement had many people feeling as if the coronavirus was again becoming political, “more of the White House trying to turn the page on COVID.”

However, he noted, only about 30% of adults who are fully vaccinated and older than 65 have received a booster. “It’s still only about 60%-70% of people who have received the boosters, so my sources are telling me that the White House feels framing that once-a-year update, just like we did with the flu shot, may actually encourage people to get that additional shot the same way that they do every year again with the flu shot.”

Adams noted, though, that the effect of a yearly COVID shot is unknown. “What we do know is that if you’ve gotten two of the mRNA vaccine, the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you still have good protection against hospitalization and death. The studies show that the older version of the vaccine, if you get a third shot or a booster, then that protection starts to wane at about two to three months against transmission or spread of these.”

He adds that it’s safe to get a COVID vaccination at the same time as a flu shot.