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Yearly COVID-19 vaccine may be necessary

Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 16:06:15-05

As the number of Americans getting vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to rise, so do concerns over the highly contagious virus variants. It's led some to suggest the need for a yearly COVID-19 shot, much like the flu vaccine.

"I already had COVID, so I'm a little bit nervous because of the re-infection rate," said Sue Sendek, a woman who got the COVID-19 vaccine. "That's the big thing right now. I wasn't as nervous. I was going to wait it out and wait a little later on when it's not so urgent, but I thought I better get in on it now because of the re-infection."

Alaska is the only state showing an upward trend in coronavirus cases right now. But new CDC data shows nearly 950 known cases of the highly contagious virus variants in the United States.

CEO of vaccine-maker Johnson & Johnson now suggests those mutations may mean an annual COVID-19 shot for years to come. The company asked the FDA for an emergency use authorization of its vaccine last week and a green light could further boost vaccination doses available across the United States.

"Supply will increase and we have to make sure that the American public sees the data and has reliable sources to go to so they increase their comfort and being able to take the vaccine," said Andy Slavitt, White House Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response.

A new Gallup poll of more than 4,000 Americans take at the end of January shows 71 percent of those surveyed are now willing to get COVID-19 vaccines. Two-thirds of those surveyed were not satisfied with how vaccination is going in the United States.

In that same poll, of those unwilling to get a vaccine, most said they were concerned about the rushed development of the vaccines. Others said they want to wait and see what is safe and effective.