By Tori Mason

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The CDC says people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need a booster shot – yet. Even if you received your shot months ago, you’re still protected and COVID symptoms will be much less severe, even if you catch the Delta variant. However, this doesn’t mean we’ll never need another shot.

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“We know that immunity wanes over time. I had my first vaccination in December. I’m likely less immune to COVID than I was three months ago. That being said, I’m likely adequately immune to COVID,” said Dr. Richard Zane, Chief Innovation Officer at UCHealth.

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Pfizer found its vaccine’s efficacy declined an average of 6% every two months. Effectiveness in groups like the elderly and immunocompromised will wane more quickly.

Some people are getting a third shot anyway, taking boosters of their own.

“The real downside is that they could have the same side effects that they had after the second dose like fever, muscle aches and feeling unwell,” said Zane. “They may very well be more protected. The question is did they need to be more protected?”

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Some countries have already approved boosters for people who were most at risk for COVID. Pfizer said it would begin clinical trials on the booster next month while they seek approval from regulators for a third dose.

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Vaccine makers are formulating a new shot that targets mutations.

“The only option we have now is to give people the same vaccine they already have. Companies are developing boosters that take into account the changes in virus, like the Delta variant. Ideally what will happen is every period of time, a year or five years, when you’re required to have a booster, the shot will take into account all the differences in the variance and viruses,” said Zane.

What doctors are most worried about now is the variant of consequence. This would be a mutation of COVID that the current testing can’t test for, the current medicines used to treat it don’t work and the vaccines won’t work.

“Getting vaccinated is about protecting yourself, protecting society and building a wall between the virus and humans. If the virus gets into unvaccinated humans, they mutate,” said Zane. “We’ll have COVID forever at our current vaccination rates and the unvaccinated are causing this.”

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Zane says it’s likely we’ll need another shot. Until then, he’ll continue to see patients who wish they got their first.

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“I’m seeing the realization and desperation for the vaccine, in front of my eyes, because people are sick as dogs with COVID,” said Zane. “Some patients still don’t believe it’s COVID that they have.”

Tori Mason