LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The FDA has approved a second booster shot for adults 50 and older and certain immunocompromised individuals.
While this booster is now available, the majority of Kentuckians still have not received their first booster.
Kentucky's Commissioner for Public Health Dr. Steven Stack said 31% of Kentucky adults have received a booster. He said it's important for Kentuckians to get boosted because immunity fades over time.
"Even the vaccine-produced immune response wanes or fades over time so it is likely we will have to have periodic jump-starts to our immune system to keep ourselves protected from the worst harms of COVID," Dr. Stack said.
CHI Saint Joseph Health epidemiologist Charles Kennedy echoed the same sentiment.
"The problem has been that immunity tends to wane certainly within 180 days of the primary vaccine series so that people then become vulnerable," Dr. Kennedy said.
He added that people should trust the science, which has proven vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness.
"Sadly, in a polarized political society, patients' decisions to either be vaccinated or decline are largely driven by emotion or political factors as opposed to scientific and medical ones," Dr. Kennedy said.
Dr. Stack said it's also important to remember that while community levels are better, the pandemic is not over.
"We're all tired with COVID," Dr. Stack said. "We want to be done with COVID. But COVID's not done with us."
For those looking with apprehension at China's current lockdown, Stack said there shouldn't be concern about that happening here.
"I don't think we're going to see the same sort of impact over here in the U.S. that China has seen because they probably have a much larger proportion of their population who has neither been vaccinated nor been infected with COVID, so they have a larger susceptible population still," Dr. Stack said.
For those eligible for a second booster, LFCHD said it can start distributing it once the CDC and State approve it as well. Once that happens, it will be offered for free by same-day appointment at the Public Health Clinic every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Anyone who needs the vaccine can call (859) 288-2483.