By Jesse Sarles

(CBS4) – As Colorado’s COVID vaccination rate increases, many people are wondering if they will need a booster, and when. The focus right now is getting more people vaccinated in this round. At least 43% of Coloradans are fully vaccinated, and 53% have received at least one dose. On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci testified during a Senate hearing. Fauci says months of research has led him to believe boosters will be needed.

With vaccination rates on the rise in Colorado, UCHealth is looking ahead to a potential COVID vaccination booster. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says experts are looking into whether a booster shot will be needed. State health officials say they are starting to plan for that stage of vaccination response. Many of the earliest vaccine patients, including health care workers, are now at the 6 month mark of being vaccinated. 
With vaccination rates on the rise in Colorado, UCHealth is looking ahead to a potential COVID booster. 
“Other countries are having huge surges, and the need for them to get even just one vaccine probably trumps any need for a booster at this point,” said UCHealth Senior Director of Infection Prevention, Dr. Michelle Barron. “But that can change on a dime.” 
Dr. Barron says a recent immunization hearing addressed the safety of getting a booster and another vaccine, like the flu shot, at the same time. 
“There is now sufficient evidence to suggest that if you give them at the same time, there’s no risk or no concern that you’re going to have something happen,” Dr. Barron told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “As we move into the fall and we have to start planning for the flu, if it comes back, and COVID-19, being able to administer them at the same time is a huge convenience.”
Dr. Barron says another study out of the UK is trying to figure out if different COVID vaccines can be mixed and matched if a booster is needed. 
“It was the combination of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with Moderna or Pfizer,” said Dr. Barron. “There seemed to be more people that had side effects after that second dose than compared to people who got the standard dosing.” 
As research on a booster continues, Dr. Barron says the first priority is making sure people get the vaccine during the first round. 
“If you can get vaccinated, get your vaccination,” said Dr. Barron. “If we need boosters, we will work through those processes when we need to.”

Jesse Sarles