Doctors explain COVID-19 booster benefits


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — All adults in the U.S. are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots after a CDC panel and the FDA both gave the green light to expand eligibility.

The move will allow people 18 and older who’ve received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine to get a booster six months after their initial two vaccines.

The CDC director gave the final approval Friday.

More than 100,000 COVID-19 booster shots have been administered in South Dakota, according to the State Department of Health.

Kelli Volk: Would you encourage people who are eligible to get the booster?
Dr. Jeremy Cauwels: I very much would.

Dr. Jeremy Cauwels is chief physician at Sanford Health.

“All I can tell you right now is the first two doses keep you protected for about six months, and that we probably need a little help after that,” Cauwels said.

The Avera Health chief medical officer also recommends the extra protection for those eligible.

“Those that were vaccinated more than six months ago really need to get a booster because your immunity may drop to that 60-70 percent and receiving that third dose, that extra booster, will really take you back to that 90-95 percent,” Avera Health chief medical officer Dr. David Erickson said.

Medical experts continue to highlight the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to Tuesday data from Sanford Health, 183 of its 204 hospitalized COVID patients’ system-wide, were not vaccinated.

“Because of my line of work, I can tell you I have hospitals full of people with COVID the illness. I do not have a hospital full of COVID vaccine illnesses,” Cauwels said.

If you’ve received the Johnson and Johnson shot, you’re eligible for a booster if you’re 18 and older and two months past your first dose.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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