USA Today (January 20, 2023) – Healthy people should get annual COVID-19 boosters to prevent widespread outbreaks, suggests a new study from Yale University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Yearly shots provide just enough frequency to prevent huge outbreaks while not putting an undue burden on people.
“There seems to be an inflection point” at about a year, said senior author Jeffrey Townsend, a biostatistician and evolutionary biologist at the Yale School of Public Health. “Delaying boosting beyond that point rapidly increases the risk of an infection.”
Though federal officials have suggested annual shots, this study is the first to examine the long-term outcomes from a booster schedule and the first to show that boosters will be especially effective at intervals of no more than a year.
The study, published this month, focused on people with healthy immune systems. Townsend and his colleagues are starting work on a similar study looking at the optimal vaccine interval for people with weakened immunity from cancer treatment and other health problems.