Over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, we still can’t answer many of the questions people have.
Is Los Angeles finished with Covid?
Probably not, but hopefully, the worst is firmly behind us.
Will Covid be seasonal like the flu?
Maybe, it’s too early to tell for certain.
Is Los Angeles ready if Covid is seasonal?
That’s the real question.
The CDC is Ready “Just in Case”
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky doesn’t think vaccinated people need to worry at this time.
“Right now, if you have two doses of the mRNA vaccines, you are protected. What we’re talking about is thinking ahead. What happens if in a year from now or 18 months from now your immunity wanes? That’s really our job is to hope for the best and plan for what might happen if we need further boosters in the future, the way we get flu vaccine boosters every year.”-Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are all developing booster shots or next-generation vaccines. They are trying to bolster protection against the original strain and some of the new variants.
Boosters Likely Needed
David Kessler, President Biden’s chief science officer, has publically stated that booster shots are likely. The main reason is that new variants could present new challenges that current vaccines are not prepared for.
This fits with what other experts worldwide are thinking. For example, China has already started recommending a third shot to some at-risk individuals.
Scientists already know that vaccine-induced immunity wanes in most other cases. There is no reason to suspect Covid will be any different.
First, they need to determine what level of immunity is too low to protect people. Once they know that, they can determine how long it takes vaccinated people to reach that point.
Those steps will tell us when and if booster shots are needed.
The problem is that we simply don’t have enough data at this time. It will take time for the experts to find the answers.
My guess is that, yes, we will eventually need booster shots. When and which one (can we mix vaccines for booster doses?) is impossible to tell.
Either way, Los Angeles will be ready.
As Dr. Walensky pointed out, we already administer flu booster shots yearly.
Clearly, we have the infrastructure in place to handle booster shots.
Whatever comes next, the worst seems to be behind us.
There might be booster shots. There also might be seasonal outbreaks of Covid. However, the idea of Los Angeles completely shutting down again seems unlikely.