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Healthcare

Dr. Kurra: Booster shots are safe, same as the original vaccine

Dr. Shankar Kurra
SDPB
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Dr. Shankar Kurra in SDPB's Rapid City Studio.

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

State health officials report about 5,600 active coronavirus infections in South Dakota and 179 people hospitalized.

Two new deaths bring the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,220.

The FDA has authorized booster shots for certain people who originally received the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. So far about 37,000 South Dakotans have received a booster.

Doctor Shankar Kurra is vice-president of medical affairs at Monument Health in Rapid City.

“The dose is the exact same as the first dose – except for Moderna, which is a half-dose. But think of it as no change in the vaccine itself. So, what you’re receiving as a booster dose is the same composition as the original vaccine.”

Kurra suggests people over 65 and/or immunocompromised get a booster shot. For others, he says there is currently no rush.

About 33 percent of South Dakotans still have not received a first vaccine dose.