Back In March, people age 50 or older — and younger people with weakened immune systems — became eligible for a Second booster shot. If you got your second booster recently, can you still get the new Omicron booster that health officials are expecting in September or October?
The answer is yes. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered this particular scenario in the spring before approving a second booster for this group, because they knew boosters for Omicron were likely imminent. They determined that taking a second booster would not prevent people from also getting an Omicron booster if and when it was authorized.
The reason for this is that boosters are an important way to boost waning immunity, and more studies show that the initial increase in virus-fighting antibodies produced by vaccines can decline over time. Increasing these levels with a booster dose is critical to protecting people at risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, and that’s what vaccines do — keeping people out of the hospital and dying of disease. Having a second booster enhances this protection, and when those antibody levels inevitably wear off again, people will be eligible for the new Omicron booster. It’s not about getting one or the other, it’s about getting both when the time is right.
If you qualify for one, getting a second batch as soon as possible is a good idea. “The threat to you [from BA.5] Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, said in a July Press Conference. If you are not fully vaccinated – that is, you do not receive boosters according to recommendations – you are putting yourself at increased risk.” Cases and deaths remain relatively high across the country; BA.5 is considered more transmissible than previous variants, and although vaccines are It won’t protect you from getting infected in the first place, it will provide some protection from hospitalization and infection with the severe COVID-19 virus.
The booster doses that the FDA is now reviewing — made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are different from those people have received so far. They are bivalent vaccines, meaning they are directed against two strains of the virus: the original SARS-CoV-2 strain targeted by previous vaccines, as well as the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants, which now account for nearly all new infections in US Recent data shows that even people vaccinated and boosted with the original strain are still susceptible to developing mild to moderate COVID-19 from Omicron variants, so experts hope the new booster shot will better protect people from getting sick from circulating Omicron viruses.
FDA and CDC officials have not yet decided who will be eligible for Omicron boosters (though… Pfizer-Biwantech recently requested permission from their footage for all Americans 12 and older, and Moderna Apply for it for adults 18 and over), when they will be available, and how long people should wait after their previous dose before getting it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on September 1 and 2 and may release more guidance after that.
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