It might become common practice to circle the calendar for a six-month booster shot.

Booster shots are being prioritized for severely immunocompromised people. However, the mRNA vaccines lose their potency to prevent infection after six months. So when booster shots for COVID-19 are given only to those with health challenges, what happens to the rest of the population?

Booster Potency An Israeli study showed that a third mRNA shot corrected the viral infection degradation from below 50% to the original 95% level. Clinical trials demonstrated around 95% effectiveness in preventing infection. However, after six months, the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine no longer protects against infection anywhere near the 95% level.

Infection Prevention Effectiveness This study demonstrated the effectiveness in preventing infection dropped from the 90% level when vaccinated to below 50% in six months. The term, breakthrough, was used initially to describe a rare occasion when a vaccinated person contracted the virus. Today, breakthrough infections are rampant.

Breakthrough Cases Each state reports COVID-19 breakthrough cases differently. This link is from the Minnesota Department of Health and is representative of many states. At the end of September 2021, Minnesota had over 57,000 breakthrough cases (not something rare any longer). More than 2,600 of those breakthrough cases were hospitalized, with nearly 375 deaths.

Before September 2021, articles describing breakthrough cases were minimal and difficult to find. Statistics of breakthrough cases are based on the total number of vaccinations rather than those vaccinated six months ago. The 57,000+ breakthrough occurred most recently, and those current breakthrough cases are averaged in with every vaccination.

In June 2021, the breakthrough rate in Minnesota was less than three people per 100,000 people fully vaccinated. I think that is representative of a rare event. However, by the middle of July 2021, the breakthrough rate quadrupled. The middle of August reported over 100 breakthrough cases/100,000 fully vaccinated people. The breakthrough rate doubled again within one month from August to September 2021.

From June through the end of September, the rate of breakthrough COVID-19 cases rose from three in 100,000 people fully vaccinated to one in 500 people fully vaccinated. The vaccine is still being billed as protecting the fully vaccinated from severe symptoms and hospitalization. However, how is that number – usually in the 85-90% range determined?

Boosters The CDC has authorized booster shots for the most vulnerable. Will they authorize them for everyone approaching six months from their second vaccine dose? Israel will not let you into their country unless your vaccination is less than six months. The United States has no policy on recency of vaccination even though the data shows that after six months any fully vaccinated person can become infected and infect others – the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated (after their six-month window).


It appears to me that the vaccine was a lifesaver when it was released. The testing program was shortened to accommodate the viral threat of COVID-19. For most of us, coronavirus has a 99% survivability rate. We should continue to protect the most susceptible; however, relying on two vaccine doses may not be enough. Booster shots will help. Do we need a six-month program to get a booster for the rest of our lives?

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


2 Responses

  1. Red – Good points raised – still too many variables along with too many mandates. On for a nonpartisan, purely MEDICAL evaluation of/recommendations for practical options.

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