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VERIFY: Moderna, Pfizer developing COVID-19 vaccine boosters, anticipate annual shot

The next round of potential FDA-approved trials will be to test "booster vaccines" that experts expect to be a yearly shot.

ATLANTA — As we get into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, many are asking how much protection it provides - and for how long. 

"Is the COVID-19 vaccine like the flu shot, meaning will you have to get it every year?" aked Flor Wordell. 

11Alive's VERIFY team went to the experts to find out. 


Will we need a booster shot to stay protected from COVID-19? 


Yes, experts say we will likely need to get an annual booster shot to extend our protection against COVID-19. 


On the CDC's frequently asked questions page it asks, "how long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?" The CDC says it's unknown how long the protection will last after getting the vaccine. 

The pharmaceutical companies Pfzier and Moderna are working with the FDA to test a booster vaccine to protect against the mutations, like the variant first identified in South African.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says a COVID booster shot is a real possibility. That's why the companies are starting "clinical trials of a booster shot against the specific variant in question. And in this case, it's the 315 from South Africa," Fauci said. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Explaining the new child tax credit expansion under the COVID relief bill

The CEO of Pfizer says they're anticipating an annual booster shot.

“We will have an annual re-vaccination likely with one dose of the vaccine," explained Albert Bourla. "That could be an annual booster, either with the same vaccine or, if there is a change in the variant, with an adapted to the new variant vaccine."

Pfizer says they will "draw upon participants from the Phase 1 study in the United States who will be offered the opportunity to receive a 30 µg booster of the current vaccine 6 to 12 months after receiving their initial two-dose regimen."

So we can VERIFY, a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot appears to be on the way, but further trials are needed for a timeline.

11Alive's VERIFY team is here to fact-check claims being shared in the community and online. Fill out the form below with something you'd like us to VERIFY.

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