Some folks get a second booster shot, do you have to?


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You are vaccinated. And you are boosted. But is it already time to start thinking about your next dose of COVID-19 vaccine? According to health officials, a second booster may not be far away.

Amid the wave of COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant, more people are rushing to get booster shots of the vaccine – which is great news, as the booster can make you 13 times less likely to test positive for the coronavirus, according to a study. Additional preliminary research also shows how essential the booster is to staying protected. Another study from South Africa examining 78,000 cases of omicron found that two injections of an mRNA vaccine, like Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, were effective in preventing severe cases of COVID-19 – the vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 70%. But without the booster, the vaccine was only 30% effective in preventing milder infections, for example NPR. A third hit dramatically increases protection.

Vaccines are the most powerful tool we have to fight the pandemic, but research shows their effectiveness wanes over time, which is why the booster exists. Those who received an mRNA vaccine are eligible for a third injection six months after their last dose and those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible two months after their injection, according to current guidelines from the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention.

Despite this, the majority of people in the United States have not received a booster. At the start of 2022, only around 20% (or 68.8 million people) of the U.S. population had received its booster (this equates to approximately 33% of the fully immunized population, according to the CDC). Yet, many people are already wondering when they might get a second booster shot.

In December, Israel became the first country to recommend a second booster (i.e. four total doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) for people over 60, those with weakened immune systems and people working in the health sector, according to the Washington post. On January 4, the Israeli government released the results of a preliminary study, which found that the second booster was found to be extremely effective, raising antibodies by 500%, according to the Washington post.

So, is there a second booster shot in the near future for the United States? In October, the CDC approved the idea, sort of. the CDC current guidelines recommend a fourth injection (of mRNA vaccines) for severely immunocompromised people, although this is technically not considered a second booster injection. Like NBC News explained that in some cases, the CDC recommends three initial injections (instead of two) as part of the primary vaccine series, followed by a booster injection given six months later. In January, the New York Times reported that some immunocompromised people concerned about the avalanche of omicron cases were already receiving a fourth injection, despite the lack of current evidence of effectiveness in these cases. the Time described individuals who had often convinced doctors or pharmacists to administer an extra dose, whether technically eligible or not; in other cases, individuals have changed their vaccination cards.

For non-immunocompromised populations, the timing of a fourth injection is less clear, especially amid ethical concerns about wealthy countries offering their citizens multiple doses before low-income countries have widespread access to vaccines. « We cannot vaccinate the planet every four to six months, » said Andrew Pollard, chairman of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. The telegraph. “It is neither sustainable nor affordable. In the future, we must target the vulnerable.

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