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Will a booster shot be necessary? Experts working to determine how long protection will last

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Posted at 9:00 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 10:25:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thousands of Tennesseans have been vaccinated from COVID-19, but medical experts are still trying to determine how long protection will last.

The latest CDC data on COVID vaccinations in the U.S. show almost 50% of the total population has had at least one dose, and now the conversation on booster shots continue. Experts say the booster shot could be needed to stay protected.

Medical experts say one reason has to do with mutations, also with antibody levels.

Dr. Michael Longley with Adventhealth says the data we’re seeing right now is very promising and shows people who’ve had the two-shot series from Pfizer or Moderna are maintaining a good level of immunity.

He also explains what a booster does to your immune system.

“Over time, the body can sort of forget what that infection looks like and so in simple terms, a booster is really just a refresher or reminder to our natural immune system that, 'hey I’m here,'" said Dr. Longley.

Experts say you should look at the idea of a booster as something positive, not negative.

Also, this is the last week that the vaccination site at Music City Center will be open for second doses.

Scripps National contributed to this report.