The health experts say it remains to be seen if everyone will need booster shots and how often will likely depend on when we reach herd immunity.
COVID booster shots may be needed within 12 months
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC recipients of his company's vaccine will likely need a 3rd shot with 12 months of being fully vaccinated (which would occur after your second dose).
Just how long the vaccine will provide immunity is still being determined
A third dose will depend on how long the vaccine remains effective in the body, and for now, experts say the vaccines are highly effective for at least 6 months, and possibly longer, but that data is still being studied. Some health experts think the COVID vaccine could be something we get annually, like the flu shot.
Developing the booster shots will be easier
Both Pfizer and Moderna are reportedly able to update their existing vaccine in around 3 months, and they are both currently in the process of doing this. The booster shots can also be designed to address virus variants. Johnson & Johnson reportedly told CNBC they are "working on developing software that will help address some of these new and emerging variants,” but has yet to provide further details.
Will COVID ever disappear completely?
Infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Lighter believes it could be around for some time to come, but thinks it will be something we can manage. “COVID-19 isn’t going away,” she told HuffPo. “Looking long-term, it’s going to feel like the flu. The flu mutates every year, we have to have a vaccine every year, but it’s totally manageable because there are treatments and vaccines and people have immunity.”