Booster COVID-19 vaccine shots likely a reality soon

Booster COVID-19 vaccinations are a trending topic heading into the weekend, with the delta variant driving up new positive cases and hospital visits. According to the latest data available from August 5, 34 inpatients are being treated for COVID-19 at UW Medicine hospitals. That number was below 20 at the start of July.

Medical experts say unvaccinated people are still experiencing the most severe COVID-19 cases by a very wide margin, but that booster shots will likely be needed to combat a natural, slight slide in antibody protection.

“Certainly, in the long-term you're going to need boosters, just like you need a booster shot for flu or your tetanus shot,” says Dr. Keith Jerome, the head of UW Medicine’s Virology Division. “I think you'll see recommendations coming out in the next month or so.”

Testing demand is also skyrocketing at UW Medicine’s COVID-19 testing sites, which is ramping up the momentum at the UW Medicine Virology Lab.

“We did almost 10,000 tests earlier this week in a single day,” says Jerome. “It's been a long time since we've seen those sort of test volumes, but we're ready and we can do it. This staff is always thrilled to pitch in and do their part – and the population is doing their part, too, by getting these tests.”

UW Medicine