The booster confusion in emails I have received over the past week is palpable. Should I get a spring booster? This is how I’m thinking about it. Hopefully it helps. Level of urgency The level of urgency for a spring booster should be dependent on two things:
I just subscribed but I just went through the same analysis as the article for the "Do I Need a Spring Booster" with my son who is a biochemistry undergrad and a physician and came to the exact same conclusions as your article.
I just added a paid subscription and I like what I see in the other articles. I look forward to more articles. Thanks for the good work and the pragmatic approach.
As always, much appreciated. Both husband and I will go for our spring booster in early May. Your guidance has truly assisted these two 70+ immunocompromised humans make thoughtful decisions for ourselves.
Any idea how the CDC will evaluate whether the Spring bivalent booster increases protection? This would be useful to know in terms of deciding:
1) Whether to extend the Spring booster to healthy people under 65,
2) Whether to recommend making Covid shots an annual or “every 6 months” shot
Thanks for this update, Dr. Jetalina! I’m 62, no comorbidities, and received the bivalent booster last September. As much as I’d love a second booster, I’m reassured by your guidance and that of other experts I also trust, that I’m covered. I’ve seen the effectiveness of the bivalent booster with friends who became infected with Covid afterwards. In one case, a dear friend with several comorbidities. The bivalent and Paxlovid kept them out of the hospital, and they said Covid for them was like a bad cold.
I am immune comprised, elderly and B cell depleted. I also have a genetic mutation that causes clotting. Do I really follow guidance for vaccination every 2 months and risk a stroke. CDC keeps changing guidance. Can I trust them? My specialists say “don’t be on the cutting edge because you may bleed”. I have been locked down for over 3 years. My son who is 35, fully vaccinated, and has the best of health care nearly died of Covid and now has long Covid.
Thanks again YLE for being so proactive in helping us to think this through. I believe that over-65 + immunocompromised should consider getting second bivalent vaccine (I stopped calling new vaccinations "boosters" to get past the "enough already" hesitancy) by the end of May. Although all Covid-19 indicators are nosediving, I am thinking that the fall is the next time frame of concern and gov't funding is supporting the development of a new vaccine that is intended to be ready in the fall and better targeted to circulating variants at that time. So it will be important for vulnerable populations to have access to new generation vaccines at that time. But the new vaccine will probably require a 4 month separation from previous vaccination. That is the reason that one might consider getting a bivalent shot before the end of May so that they would be eligible for an improved vaccine anticipated for September/October. Hopefully, Covid will give us a rest and none of this will be necessary.
Lastly, providing flexible thinking to help inform personal decision-making in the real world makes a lot of sense. Your example about anticipating a wedding event in the months ahead was an excellent example. Perhaps a list of activities that may represent increased risks might be compiled (e.g. air travel, theater) or will this drive people crazy? What do you think?
Thank you so much, Katelyn, for this. It answered questions for me that I hadn't even been thinking of (like whether to get a booster prior to a late-July wedding, and when). And the dissection of risk levels and advice by age, comorbidities, and prior infection/vaccination history makes this incredibly useful and actionable. (Of course, that kind of clarity and usefulness is what we have all come to expect from YLE!)
Btw, I thought it was kind of strange that the new ACIP/CDC guidance for 2nd bivalent included age and immunocompromised, but not chronic disorders (e.g. Heart, lung, diabetes, cancer obesity). Is there more guidance on this? I could not find any info on CDC website??? Clearly these patients are subject to more serious outcomes when infected. YLE recommends 2nd jab for >65 with comorbidities. But what about under 65 who is obese, diabetic, COPD? What do pharmacists do when presented with an under 65 patient with comorbidity who wants 2nd bivalent? I bet I am missing something - if anyone knows the answer , please advise -thx.
70 y/o. Got the 2nd bivalent shot yesterday. I had to run an errand in a store next to another store with a pharmacy, and there was an open appointment, so I booked it. They had Pfizer, so it’s what I got. Done!
Solid. The message gives the facts truthfully. And in the end, the choice is yours! I really love our YLE! Oh yeah!
About Side Effects.
The fall booster gave me a 2-day misery of feeling sick - a solid 7 out of 10. Spring booster scheduled for this coming Friday.
I'll be a bit smarter about being prepared for a lousy weekend.
And - huge thank you to Katelyn Jetelina for the many straightforward and clear analyses.
Politics being the highest science of Man <grin>, please consider it as a career adjunct.
I'm looking for an up to date list of what the comorbidities are. Thank you
At age 71 (no comorbidities), having had all the possible vaccinations, including the bivalent booster last March, my husband and I had planned to get another booster. We had just opened ourselves up to taking some unmasked risks — going unmasked to a restaurant with friends and taking a singing class (large room with high ceilings, few people). After all these years of avoiding COVID, it got us. We’re both home sick now, taking Paxlovid. Hurray for hybrid immunity? Am I right to assume that we should wait for whatever is available vaccination in the fall?
Thank you! Since I have a lot of public exposure to all kinds and ages of people I got my booster today.
I am in the group that had the first three shots, had horrible side effects from Moderna 2 and 3, and cannot get guidance on a booster. I truly wish there were other options. I am a sitting duck for Covid, but I cannot go through 48+ hours of being incapacitated with vomiting and headache (and I have migraines, so I know a bad headache, and this pain was terrifying). And then several weeks of not feeling normal. Medical professionals cannot tell me if Pfizer might be a better option. Is the issue Moderna was too high a dose? Is the issue the platform? It is shameful that there are no other options for those of us unwilling to risk another MRNA vaccine. Especially those of us who who prefer not to get Covid and want to do the right thing.
As a 74 yr old - if I get the spring booster (first bivalent was the first week it was available last September) am I still going to be able to get the (planned to be) regularly scheduled fall booster - or do I have to choose one or the other?