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Dr. Shankar Kurra and the science behind summer COVID boosters

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

The interview posted above is from SDPB's daily public affairs show, In the Moment with Lori Walsh.

More Americans are contracting the dominant strain of COVID, even if they have been vaccinated or previously infected.

The BA.5 subvariant accounts for more than 65% of new infections nationwide. A specially formulated vaccine to target omicron subvariants is expected this fall. (BA.5 is an omicron subvariant.)

Shankar Kurra, MD, is vice-president of medical affairs at Monument Health. He says South Dakotans who get booster shots this summer will still be eligible for the newly formulated vaccines once they arrive.

“Those that are still hesitant about getting the booster, first or second, please go get it," Kurra says. "What we know from studies is that if you get even this non-targeted antibody response from the booster, you are protected against getting severe illness. You might get a mild form of the disease, but you will not land in the hospital or, worse still, succumb to the disease.”

South Dakota active COVID infections are up 558 cases from last week for a total of 3,857 cases.

The South Dakota Department of Health is reporting five new deaths. The total death toll of COVID in the state now stands at 2,945 people.

Lori Walsh is the host and senior producer of In the Moment.
Chris is a producer for In the Moment.