Newton County health director sees interest in COVID boosters

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – A Newton County health official is already seeing interest in COVID-19 booster shots. This, after the CDC announced plans to deliver the shots to all Americans.

Officials announced the move in response to CDC data showing waning immunity for initial shots.

The plan, as outlined by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top health authorities, calls for booster doses eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The booster doses could begin the week of Sept. 20, 2020.

“Our plan is to protect the American people, to stay ahead of this virus,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said as the agency cited a raft of studies suggesting that the vaccines are losing ground while the highly contagious variant spreads.

People who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also probably need extra shots, health officials said. But they said they are waiting for more data.

Newton County Health Director Larry Bergner spoke to KOAM today. A number of 4-state residents have already shown him an interest in boosters.

Officials said that before any booster program starts up, the Food and Drug Administration and a CDC advisory panel would need to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an extra dose.

“We have a responsibility to give the maximum amount of protection,” President Joe Biden said at the White House. He added that extra doses are also “the best way to protect ourselves from new variants that could arise.”

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