National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that it was "entirely conceivable" people may need boosters again to fight COVID-19.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that it was "entirely conceivable" people may need boosters again to fight COVID-19.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that it was “entirely conceivable” people may need boosters again to fight COVID-19.

Partial transcript as follows:

RADDATZ: Let’s talk about the vaccines and the boosters. You have talked about how effective especially the boosters are, risk of severe illness reduced by as much as 94 percent with Delta, 84 percent with Omicron. What about the next booster shot? For a substantial part of the population, they’re now moving into the fifth month of their booster. So does it lose its effectiveness and how soon should they get another one if that’s your advice?

FAUCI: Well, the answer, Martha, honestly, is we don’t know because we don’t know the durability of protection from the third shot boost of an mRNA and the second shot boost of a J&J. Certainly, you are going to see the antibody levels go down. That’s natural, but there’s an element of the immune response, B cell memory and T cell responses, where even though you do see a diminution of antibody levels, it is quite conceivable — and I hope it’s true — that the third shot boost will give a much greater durability of protection. We’re following that very carefully. And when I say protection, Martha, I mean protection against severe disease. You are going to see breakthrough infections as we’ve seen now, even in boosted people, but for the very most part, they’re mild or even asymptomatic. That’s where we would like to be is to have that where you don’t have to get more and more, always, every six months with a booster. We may need to boost again. That’s entirely conceivable, but before we make that decision about yet again another boost, we want to determine clearly what the durability of protection is of that regular boost, that third shot that we’re talking about.

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Pam Key