SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Let’s face it a lot of us are done with COVID. The problem is COVID may not be done with us.
Many experts predict a winter surge in COVID cases, especially among those who are unvaccinated and unboosted. There appears to be some good news.
The new booster shots aimed at the dominant COVID variants are proving to be effective. A study by Pfizer shows booster shots are creating an immune response four times higher than the original vaccine against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 strains.
Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, Sanford’s Chief Physician, says that’s important because those are the dominant strains in KELOLAND right now.
“In a bivalent booster, that means you are looking at a couple of different versions of the virus while you are doing, and so the body is going to have a robust response to each part of what’s in that vaccine, I think it’s really good news that the robust. I think it is really good news that that robust response seems to be even higher than it was with previous versions of the vaccine,” said Cauwels.
Dr. Cauwels says for the young and healthy, COVID will mostly likely be much like a cold. But for those with underlying health conditions, known or unknown, COVID will still present a risk of serious illness.
Ty White, Monument Health’s Director of Infection Control says people may notice more people being re-infected.
“Really, what we are seeing is that between vaccinations and having a past infection, your likelihood of developing an infection does decrease, but there is still that chance of a breakthrough infection,” said White.
White says, fortunately, most often the second infection is milder. It is still too early to tell what a winter surge will look like, but growing re-infections and waning immunity make it almost certain that there will be an uptick in cases during the winter months.