Should you get a 4th COVID-19 booster shot?

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Experts say not everyone necessarily needs a second COVID-19 refresher right now. Victor Bordera/Stocksy United
  • Federal officials have approved a second COVID-19 booster shot for people over 50.
  • However, some experts say that people under the age of 65 who are in good health may not need the additional vaccination at this time.
  • They add that there is evidence that a booster shot that is different from your original shots can improve immune response.

If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, your Protection against the novel coronavirus may decrease over time, particularly with the introduction of new variants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends COVID-19 vaccine boosters for everyone ages 12 and older.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration says A second booster dose of Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people 50 years and older at least 4 months after receiving their first booster dose.

The agency also recommends that some immunocompromised people ages 12 and older get a second booster shot 4 months after their first.

The National Institutes of Health says Mixing vaccines can enhance the immune response.

They add that vaccine mixing can also increase flexibility when doses of a particular vaccine are not readily available.

dr Michael Daignaultan emergency room physician and senior medical adviser at Reliant Health Services, says there may be an advantage to mixing and matching mRNA vaccines, but we don’t yet have enough data to say for sure.

“I think the more important question isn’t what second refresher you should get, but do you really need it at this point?” he told Healthline.

Daignault recommends severely immunocompromised patients, such as B. Solid organ transplant patients, a second booster dose of an mRNA vaccine.

He adds that people who have contracted COVID-19 and have received initial doses of the vaccine may not need an additional booster shot at this time.

“Those who have received two doses of any combination of vaccines and have recently had breakthrough COVID infection, likely with Omicron (whether BA.1 or BA.2), do not need an additional booster,” Daignault said.

“The infection is the booster. This is hybrid immunity and the strongest form of immunity,” he explained.

Other experts also question the need for two boosters.

“The need for [additional] Booster at this point seems a little unclear,” said dr Erika SchwartzAuthor and founder of Evolved Science.

“Therefore, while studies are conducted, we would be best advised to take better care of ourselves, stay home when we are sick, sleep 8 hours a night, drink plenty of water, stay physically active and try to keep ourselves to relax,” Schwartz said.

dr Ezell wrong, specialist forVIP Star Network, a leading provider of social services related to COVID-19, has a different perspective.

“Despite the effectiveness of a single vaccine, the global response is still limited by supply chain availability. So the idea of ​​mixing boosters to address this issue is now being considered,” Askew told Healthline.

Daignault points to a year 2021 to learn based on data from Israel, which began giving fourth doses to people ages 60 to 100 in January.

“It showed that those with a second booster dose had a lower risk of serious illness up to 6 weeks after, but only minimal additional protection from infection, which quickly wore off,” he said.

Daignault added that while the data compared two groups – those who received only a first booster shot versus those who received a second booster shot – the study authors did not control for any demographic characteristics, comorbid conditions or behaviors.

The bottom line, Daignault says, is that older, high-risk adults (perhaps 80 and older) can be given a second booster shot, but there’s no clear evidence that immunization protection against major diseases wanes in adults younger than 80.

He advises speaking to your doctor about a second booster shot as they have your full medical history and understand your overall risk.

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