Louisville frontline health care worker receives COVID-19 vaccine (12/23/20)

A frontline health care worker receives a dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A COVID-19 booster shot is recommended for immunocompromised people, and that soon could be expanded to everyone.

The first boosters are likely to go to nursing homes residents, health care workers and other frontline workers. Then, everyone else will be eligible.

Officials are expecting to give people the same vaccine they originally received. Doctors expect the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recommend the Pfizer booster first, then the Moderna and then possibly one for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"It's a simple matter of numbers," said Dr. Jason Smith, chief medical officer for U of L Health. "And so them taking it upon themselves and getting the vaccine and stopping this pandemic will have a greater impact than 100 nurses will ever have on what we're trying to do for our state and for our city."

Doctors do not anticipate needing to open mass-vaccination sites like they did earlier this year, though.

"We're ready whenever we need to give booster shots," Smith said. "We've got plenty of vaccine."

And because of how widespread the pandemic is, Smith said he's expecting these shots to end up looking similar to a flu shot and likely remain necessary every year.

"There are going to be variants that come up every single year, just like variants of the flu come up every single year," he said. "And we will eventually have to have this either annually or based on what the variant spread looks like for the preceding year. I don't see any way around that right now."

Health officials said because the Delta variant only started hitting the U.S. hard last month, the next few weeks of data will help them make a decision.

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