New COVID-19 vaccines are coming out in the fall, as cases and hospitalizations trend upward. Many are conflicted on whether to get another booster shot or to get a shot of the multivalent vaccine that targets omicron and other COVID-19 variants.
Health expert Dr. Barry Ramo, a staff cardiologist for the New Mexico Heart Institute, suggested if you’re eligible to get a booster now you should get it, instead of waiting for the new shot, per KOAT Action 7 News in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Right now, the idea of waiting for the new vaccine may be a mistake because we don’t know what the dominant viral strain will be at the time that the vaccine is released,” said Ramo, adding that the current vaccine prevents hospitalizations and deaths, even for omicron, which makes up a majority of cases in the U.S.
“The variant is in high concentration now. People are getting sick with it. They’re not getting seriously ill if they’ve been boosted,” he said.
“Definitely get it now!” Paula Cannon, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, told the Los Angeles Times.
“Trying to predict the future with this virus, even as close as the fall, is not a good idea,” she said. “And even with the more Omicron-specific vaccines, it’s still highly unlikely that they will provide absolute protection against infection.”
Who is eligible to get a second COVID-19 booster?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends another Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot for COVID-19 for those who are 50 years and older and those 12 and over who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
At least 67.2% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, out of which less than half have received one booster, according to CDC data. Meanwhile, only 30% of the population over 50 years has gotten their second booster shot.
The CDC urges everyone who’s at least 5 years old to get one to two booster shots, depending on their age and the health of their immune system. That’s because the protection offered by the vaccine fades over time.