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VERIFY: Moderna, Pfizer developing COVID-19 vaccine boosters, anticipate annual shot

The next round of potential FDA-approved trials will be to test "booster vaccines" that experts expect to be a yearly shot.

ATLANTA — As we get into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, many are asking how much protection it provides - and for how long. 

"Is the COVID-19 vaccine like the flu shot, meaning will you have to get it every year?" aked Flor Wordell. 

11Alive's VERIFY team went to the experts to find out. 

THE QUESTION 

Will we need a booster shot to stay protected from COVID-19? 

THE ANSWER 

Yes, experts say we will likely need to get an annual booster shot to extend our protection against COVID-19. 

WHAT WE KNOW 

On the CDC's frequently asked questions page it asks, "how long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?" The CDC says it's unknown how long the protection will last after getting the vaccine. 

The pharmaceutical companies Pfzier and Moderna are working with the FDA to test a booster vaccine to protect against the mutations, like the variant first identified in South African.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says a COVID booster shot is a real possibility. That's why the companies are starting "clinical trials of a booster shot against the specific variant in question. And in this case, it's the 315 from South Africa," Fauci said. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Explaining the new child tax credit expansion under the COVID relief bill

The CEO of Pfizer says they're anticipating an annual booster shot.

“We will have an annual re-vaccination likely with one dose of the vaccine," explained Albert Bourla. "That could be an annual booster, either with the same vaccine or, if there is a change in the variant, with an adapted to the new variant vaccine."

Pfizer says they will "draw upon participants from the Phase 1 study in the United States who will be offered the opportunity to receive a 30 µg booster of the current vaccine 6 to 12 months after receiving their initial two-dose regimen."

So we can VERIFY, a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot appears to be on the way, but further trials are needed for a timeline.

11Alive's VERIFY team is here to fact-check claims being shared in the community and online. Fill out the form below with something you'd like us to VERIFY.