No indication most Ohioans will need COVID booster shot, state health officials say

Kettering Health Network, held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, Thursday, March 11, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Kettering Health Network, held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, Thursday, March 11, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Despite coronavirus cases continuing to rise across Ohio and the U.S., there is currently no indication that people will need a vaccine booster, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said.

“In public health and in medicine broadly, we’re watching very closely the data to get the best indicator of whether or not boosters are needed,” he said Thursday. “Thus far, there have really not been indications that unless you fall into some very narrow categories where the [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] is actively examining the question for, most people you don’t need a booster.”

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While the cases and hospitalizations are climbing, Dr. Steven Burdette of Miami Valley Hospital said patients are “almost exclusively unvaccinated.”

CNN reported Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to announced it will authorize a vaccine booster for people who are immunocompromised who received the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer series.

It is not clear if the authorization would apply to specific medical conditions.

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“Right now the data is continuing to show that the vaccines, including J&J, are providing substantial and excellent protection against severe illness with the disease,” Vanderhoff said. “Getting something unnecessarily is not something I’d recommend.”

Burdette said he’s heard of people getting boosters if they were vaccinated outside of the U.S., but warned that mixing vaccines has an increased risk of reactions at the injection site.

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