Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan suggested that people may need to get a COVID-19 booster shot every year. During an interview with Maria Bartiromo, Afeyan said there may be a "continuous need for boosting" if the coronavirus continues to mutate.
"We just don't know how this virus is going to travel from being a pandemic all the way to potentially an endemic virus we have to get used to living with," Afeyan said. "If that's where it ends up, it may well need an annual booster, potentially varying on a year-to-year or every few years' basis as the virus varies, similarly to what we do with the flu vaccine and so I think if we end up there, there will be a continuous need for boosting."
Moderna is currently working on a new vaccine that combines its COVID-19 vaccine and an experimental flu shot it is developing.
The FDA has authorized booster shots for all three vaccines available in the United States. Boosters for Pfizer's and Moderna vaccines have been approved for people over 65, those at risk of severe complications from COVID-19, and those who work in jobs where they are likely to be exposed to the virus. Boosters for Johnson & Johnson's vaccine have been authorized for anybody over the age of 18.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13.3 million people have received a booster shot as of October 25.