Vax booster shots likely coming as virus mutates, leading VT doc says

As the Covid-19 virus mutates, vaccine booster shots likely will be needed to keep Vermonters out of hospitals, Dr. Josh White, the Chief Medical Officer at Gifford Health Care in Randolph, said in a July 30 statement.

White also said a Pfizer vaccine for children younger than 12 should be ready by the time school starts this fall.

Vermonters should be cautious, but not worry about the more contagious Delta Variant, White said. Delta is causing a rise in cases throughout the world, but according to Dr. White, these COVID-19 variants were expected.

“Viruses mutate, so they can spread better,” Dr. White said. “Delta seems to reproduce much faster, which means when a person coughs or sneezes, there’s a lot more virus in it so it’s much easier to transmit.”

While the Vermont Department of Health is reporting a slight increase in new daily cases (1.8% positive 7-day average), the state’s high vaccination rate is keeping patients out of the hospital.

“Vermont’s done a nice job,” Dr. White said. “The populous responded to the goal set by the state. We did well and we’re seeing that reflected in the low number of hospitalizations.  The intent of vaccines is to prevent unnecessary hospitalization, sickness and death. Vaccines do that really well, which means Vermont’s target of 80 percent is a big deal. It provides us some measure of relative safety. “

More than 83% of Vermonters 12 years of age and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but it doesn’t mean they are completely free from COVID. Vaccinated people can still get infected.

“The goal was to keep you out of the hospital,” Dr. White said. “Vaccinated people tend to be a lot less sick.”

When it comes to vaccinations, booster shots will likely be in our future. As mutations occur, the vaccinations could become less effective, but the data is unclear if boosters needed right now.

“It’s demonstrated that a booster shot can give a person higher antibody levels, but what we want to see is people staying out of the hospital and dying unnecessarily,” Dr. White said. “If it shows boosters can prevent that, then yes that will be coming. As the virus continues to mutate, when do we cross that line? At this point, I don’t know.”

One thing Dr. White does believe is COVID and its variants will be a part of our lives.

“Globally speaking, we missed the opportunity to put a lid on COVID. It will become endemic,” Dr. White said. “It’s going to be a new public health challenge, meaning there will be some level of masking and protection.”

A vaccine for younger children should be coming soon from Pfizer, possibly in time for the start of school this fall.

“If the bulk of school age children are vaccinated, there’s shouldn’t be much of an issue,” Dr. White said. “In general children are at lower risk. It’s normal for parents to worry. It’s on the medical community to address those concerns.”

But as Dr. White reiterates, Vermonters have put themselves in a good place by taking precautions and getting vaccinated.

“Could that change in the future? Yes, it could and we’ll have to respond to it. But we’ve demonstrated that we can and will do that.”

Categories: Covid-19

6 replies »

  1. So, thus far the vaccines are highly effective in keeping the virus from severely sickening or causing death, and of course variants were expected. Fine.

    If immunity is clearly demonstrated to be waning OR a different variant appears & the vaccines are no longer is highly effective in preventing hospitalization or death, a booster may be advisable. Fine.

    Despite all this….masks should be worn anyway? NO. NO WAY. NOT FINE. JUST STOP THIS.

    • COVID-19 Cure is WORSE than the disease for Children

      • In total all deaths involving* COVID-19 as listed by the CDC for children under 18 without considering
      comorbidities** for 2020 and 2021 is 340 deaths.

      • In 2018 to 2019 there were 199 flu related deaths in children but modeling suggests the number is more likely to
      be 434 deaths from flu related illness (pre-covid). THIS IS MORE THAN COVID-19!!!

      • There are 19 reported*** deaths from the vaccines in the age range of 0 – 17 (most of which aren’t even eligible
      for the vaccine yet), and we know that the VAERS system is underreported.

      • There are 927 adverse reactions requiring hospitalization, life threatening illness, permanent disability and even

      * Involving means tested or suspected – not necessarily confirmed.
      ***VAERS System is underreported in some estimates by a factor of 10.

      Certainly parents should understand the risks and also know that much less than half of the children have been vaccinated, so these numbers will rise.

      In the words of one of my favorite musical artists:


  2. Why has no doctor said, if you are a healthy individual, your chance of critical care or death is close to ZERO. The people who say and preach for optimum health – eat a balanced diet, exercise, get plenty of rest, drink fluids, take vitamins ,etc. Follow their advice for healthy living and well being. Yet, now they say – take this mRNA concoction because without it, you are what – dead? critical care unit? Every doctor, from this time forward, has lost all credibility I will never trust the medical community again, ever – a vet has more morals and ethics than these corrupted clowns.

  3. Vaxx’s for kids? Really? Why Doc? Tell us why? As for masks, if one thinks they work then one could install chicken wire over their windows to keep out mosquitos.. Masks get full of stuff like staph, strep, and all kinds of schmootz, just ask “Dr.” Fauci, well…the OLD Dr. Fauci from last year.. This Doc says we “should be cautious, but not worry”..What about treatments Doc? We NEVER got an AIDs vaccine but yet we TREAT it, how about treatments? “Virus’s can mutate” and so does the medical advice! I’m with Melissa..They have lost ALL credibility in my book..I just changed MD’s (mine went south) & at 1st visit they ask me about “my back”..had they bothered to READ my chart they might have asked about my (obviously) crippled foot..I won’t even mention the hospitals, their outcomes, and infection rates, maybe stopping the “fee for service” might be a good thing after all, we’ll see..SM.

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