Answers about COVID-19 vaccine booster recommendations

As Omicron cases continue to rise, many have questions about COVID vaccine booster recommendations.
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:34 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The virus that shut down the world continues to mutate and combat our fight against it.

“Started with the ancestral strain Wuhan and then we saw the Alpha, then we saw the Beta, Delta which really took a toll, and now we’re seeing Omicron. Each of these variants are only possible because of rising numbers of transmissions,” said Dr. Shankar Kurra, vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health.

This means, each time the virus is transmitted, the virus will try to become more successful by creating different variants.

And Kurra says the only way to stop the possibility of another stronger variant is to get vaccinated and boosted.

But some may wonder, why do we need a third shot?

“Anytime you get a booster you immediately increase your antibodies and all the studies, and all the measures in the lab clearly show they work effectively against Omicron and it’s very important to get the booster that’s what’s saving lives,” said Kurra.

Recommending a vaccine booster isn’t a surprise, Kurra says many vaccines have boosters.

“Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, we recommend especially folks 65 and older to get that again,” said Kurra.

But hospitals are focused on one virus and its variants, Omicron is reported to be more than 90% of new infections since mid-December, according to the CDC.

“We are in the middle of another wave and this is going to peak towards the end of this month, so it’s very important for folks to get vaccinated, get the booster, wear your mask, avoid close crowded spaces,” said Kurra.

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