State virus briefing on vaccinations, questions about effectiveness


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As more Wisconsinites get vaccinated in the fight against Coronavirus, there are still questions about the vaccine itself and how effective it is in the long run. In the latest Department of Health virus briefing question and answer session, Local 5’s Eric Richards asked if there will be a need for a booster shot six months after being fully vaccinated.

“The answer unfortunately is clear right now that we just don’t know. We will be able to answer those questions when enough time has gone by,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard Chief Medical Officer for DHS. Westergaard also says that observation of infections and trends would determine if a booster shot is needed. As far as the effectiveness of the vaccine options available, Westergaard says the data is showing positive results so far. “The effectiveness data is very strong compared to the general principle that no vaccine is perfect and no medical treatment is 100% effective,” said Westergaard.

Pfizer says their ongoing trial indicates the company’s two-dose vaccine remains highly effective for at least six months or more. Moderna says their version also reports notable levels of virus-fighting antibodies. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains unavailable and that has affected the amount of vaccines available throughout Wisconsin. Even with that halt in production, there are still high numbers of vaccinated individuals. “Four million doses down and about three million doses to go to reach 80% community immunity,” said  Julie Willems Van Dijk, Deputy Secretary.

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