Cases of COVID-19 are still occurring across the United States due to more contagious Omnicron variants. Doctors and scientists worry about the effectiveness of current vaccines in protecting older populations against Omnicron infections. Therefore, experts are highly recommending booster vaccines.
Current COVID-19 boosters are safe and effective. They help to reduce the severity of several Omicron variants, including the new BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning to develop updated versions of booster vaccines that are specifically targeted to protect against Omnicron and its variants. Furthermore, the FDA is encouraging COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to update their booster shots to protect against BA.4 and BA.5 variants.
Second COVID-19 Booster
In March of 2022, the CDC released a statement recommending people over the age of 50 get a second shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer booster four months after their first shot. This is because older populations need more protections against COVID-19 due to fewer antibodies and greater risks of hospitalization.
Additionally, the CDC recommended a second booster shot for immunocompromised people aged 12 and older. Recipients of organ transplants, those suffering from HIV, and people getting treated for blood cancers are included in this group.
COVID-19 Booster Eligibility
While the CDC has given specific recommendations on what populations should receive the COVID-19 booster, factors like age and medical conditions should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to get a booster shot. Even if a person meets the qualifications for receiving a second booster shot, they may decide to wait until updated vaccines become released. Similarly, someone who doesn’t meet the qualifications laid out by the CDC but wants to receive another dose could benefit dramatically from the booster.
People who suffer from serious diseases or medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, should consider receiving a second COVID-19 booster shot. Also, people working in occupations with high exposure to COVID-19 should look into getting another dose. Regardless of the situation, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider about the benefits and risks associated with receiving a second dose.
COVID-19 Booster: Now or Later?
People who meet the CDC criteria for receiving a second booster shot should make plans to get their next dose. With the new strains of COVID-19 present, it is important to take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. Even if more boosters are released in the fall, there will always be an opportunity to get an additional shot.
However, people that are not at a higher risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 can wait until updated boosters are produced. It is not crucial to receive a second COVID-19 booster dose if under the age of 50 or not suffering from a severe disease or medical condition.
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National Geographic (2022, July 8). Should you get a second COVID-19 booster now, or wait for updated shots? Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/should-you-get-a-second-covid-booster-now-or-wait-for-updated-shots