COVID vaccines provide long-lasting protection, but will an annual boost be needed?

Reporter: Amy Oshier
Published: Updated:
FILE – This Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo shows vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a temporary clinic in Exeter, N.H. In September, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved extra doses of Pfizer’s original COVID-19 vaccine after studies showed it still works well enough against the delta variant. And the FDA is weighing evidence for boosters of the original Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

We’re coming up on the one-year mark for receiving the first COVID-19 vaccination shot for many Southwest Floridians. Are we going to be rolling up your sleeve now for an annual-COVID shot. After a round of boosters, what’s next?

A year ago, Phyllis and Berny Aronson were laser-focused on securing an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.

When their effort paid off, Phyllis said, “We thought we had won the lotto. We were so excited. Benny said they “had been trying for weeks to get an appointment.”

The Aronson’s expected the two-shot series would put COVID-19 behind them, but soon found out they needed to boost their immunity.

“Because this was going to be around forever,” Benny explained. “This is such a bad virus that it’s going to keep mutating.


Researchers and virologists agree. The vast spread of COVID-19 made it impossible to contain with a single series of shots.

University of Florida Professor of Biostatistics Dr. Ira Longini, said, “I think for COVID-19. We’re headed towards an endemic state with seasonal outbreaks, probably for a long time to come.


Dr. Longini knows this virus well. He believes the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic is likely to become an ongoing battle and we’ll need to arm ourselves against it.

 “I think eventually, everybody will need to get boosted probably at least yearly, or maybe every six or eight months.


With additional vaccinations likely, he says the Aronson’s effort, was far from futile. “Protection against severe disease seems to be very durable. And that’s due to immune memory. So people who went through a primary vaccination series are still even a year later, well protected against severe disease,” he added.

In it for the long haul, the Aronson’s will continue vaccinating. For a shot at normalcy.

While Phyllis said “It protects. It protects us,” Berny added, “but also protects you and anybody else near us for the same reason.


While experts are leaning that way, there has been no commitment about rolling out annual vaccinations yet.

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