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Health expert says booster shot could be needed after getting COVID-19 vaccine

13News Now spoke to Virginia’s Vaccine Coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula about if a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot will be needed.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Almost 4-million Virginians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In the near future, all of those people may need another shot.

Health leaders are looking to see if a booster shot is needed to make sure the vaccine stays effective.

Virginia’s Vaccine Coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula said health leaders are still following the data and the science to see if and when a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is needed.

Millions of Virginians are vaccinated against COVID-19. Dr. Danny Avula said the shot is slowing the spread of the virus.

He said, “Our daily case count has been around 200 or fewer cases a day which is remarkable given where we've been in the last year and a half with COVID.”

Just like the flu shot, Dr. Avula said there is a good chance, the COVID-19 vaccine could become an annual shot.

“With new mutations and new variances, we may need a new formation of the vaccine itself to be able to fully protect against what we might see next year as opposed to this year, ” Avula said.

RELATED: Virginia's vaccine coordinator: COVID-19 'booster' shots may not be needed until 2022

Many people want to know if they will soon need a COVID-19 booster shot. Dr. Avula said studies show people who participated in vaccine trials almost a year ago, are still showing good immunity against the COVID-19 virus.

He said, “I think we need to see more studies to see if immunity is dropping off before we know if we have to do boosters this fall or not. My guess, I think it will be early next year. Not the end of this year.”

Whether it's this year or next, Dr. Avula promises people the booster shot will be easily available for everyone.

“As the data comes in and boosters get developed and the CDC develops recommendations for when boosters should be delivered that will most likely happen through pharmacies, existing providers, and then the safety net, ” Avula explained.

68% of people 18 and older in the state have one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Avula believes Virginia will meet President Joe Biden’s goal, which is to have 70% of adults receive one dose of the vaccine by July 4.

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