CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Not too long ago, many people were able to say they are fully vaccinated, but now that definition of fully vaccinated has changed.
Doctors have recently changed the fully vaccinated status to include the third booster shot to help sustain immunity from COVID-19.
Medical professionals recommend getting a booster shot six months after getting the second shot of Pzifer or Moderna or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.
“After a third dose, specifically for Pfizer, that’s the most recent data that your protection goes back up to about 95, 96%,” Dr. Jessica McColley, Chief Medical Officer for Cabin Creek Health Systems said.
You can now mix and match vaccines since it’s all about immune response. Without those boosters, some doctors say you’re not fully immunized anymore.
“Fully vaccinated in this moment is two doses of mRNA with a boost dose of either because we can mix and match, or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson with a boost dose of either,” Dr. McColley said.
If you got the two shots earlier in the year, doctors say your immunity has probably waned by now and you likely don’t have enough immunity to the newer changes of the virus, like the delta variant.
“This is something that your body was already familiar with. If you had two Pfizers, and so having a Moderna which has a little tiny bit better effectiveness to the delta virus, so your body kind of treats it as a new thing and boosts the immunity just a little more,” Dr. McColley said.
Dr. McColley says COVID-19 will always be around and we’ll need to protect ourselves from it just like the flu.
“Likely we will need a need COVID vaccine just like you need your flu shot every year. We don’t know yet how often that will be but moving forward. That’s the only way we’ll get from pandemic status to endemic is enough people vaccinated,” Dr. McColley said.
The FDA says they are planning to approve Pfizer boosters for all adults as early as Thursday.