Don't Call them "Boosters" Anymore and Other COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like to change the narrative around COVID-19 booster shots, according to William Schaffner, MD, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Rather than referring to successive shots as boosters, the term "updated vaccines" is preferred and is intended to make the recommendation for the vaccination "more analogous to what we do with our influenza vaccine, we update our flu vaccine every year," says Schaffner, "that's a concept accepted by the general public."

Schaffner also talks in this interview with Patient Care© Schaffner about how hard it is to convey that the COVID-19 vaccine and even the flu shot are designed to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death and are less likely to inhibit transmission and protect against mild disease.


William Schaffner, MD, is medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy and a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN.