By Russ Bowen | March 11, 2021 at 5:01 PM EST – Updated March 11 at 5:01 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Between the sighs of relief and happy tears, the country is quickly moving forward in the effort to get the majority of the population vaccinated against COVID-19.
“All of it is kind of building an airplane as we’re flying. That’s the difference. We’ve had hundreds of years of experience with influenza, we’ve had 12 months of experience with COVID,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, a professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Epidemiology at UNC School of Medicine.
As COVID-19 turns out new strains like the UK, South African, and Brazilian variants, we hang on to hope that the vaccine will keep us healthy.
Every pharmaceutical company making a vaccine is working to make modifications as new mutations pop up.
That means you may very well need a booster shot.
“So that the booster they give would complement existing immunity but extend existing immunity to more variants,” said Cohen.
It is what we already do for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and other diseases including the flu.
“This is essentially what we’ve done for influenza for 20 or more years. Every year we search out what the most likely influenza strain is, we make a booster essentially even though you’ve got lots of influenza immunity,” Cohen said.
Which may be the norm for COVID-19 as well.
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