April 22, 2022

Associate Director for Research says another vaccine booster could help healthcare workers and those over 55

Northwest News Radio Transcript:
The President’s new COVID response coordinator says people in their 50s should talk to their doctors before getting a fourth vaccine shot. Ryan Harris has more from a local expert.

Data from Israel that shows a fourth shot increases protection against severe illness and death for people over 60 is pretty compelling, says White House COVID Czar, Dr. Ashish Jha. But he says for people in their 50s who are also eligible, it’s a closer call based on your risk level that you should make with your doctor.

UW Medicine’s Dr. Deborah Fuller says the reason is what’s known as immunosenescence, or the body’s reduced immune response to vaccines that comes around age 55. “If you’re somebody who is exposed a lot to people out there, you know, in a job say in a hospital or something, it doesn’t hurt you to get the booster. It could help, and it could help to extend your immunity.”

Dr. Fuller says you should still have some protection from the third shot, but the fourth could be enough to put you over the top in terms of keeping you out of the hospital and for added protection for the people around you who might be immunocompromised or at greater risk.

Ryan Harris, Northwest News Radio