As boosters become available for more people, not everyone needs to rush out to get one. Here’s who can stand to wait a little longer.
While COVID-19 boosters are available for certain groups of people (mainly those most vulnerable), and we should all make the time to get our shot when it’s our turn, there are some variables we should consider. Experts agree that the people who are fully vaccinated and have coped with a COVID-19 infection should be last to get their booster.
The Wall Street Journal spoke with several experts who said that this group of people was more protected than the rest since they’ve already had three exposures to the virus (two vaccines, one infection).
“I wouldn’t ask them to get a booster dose. I think they just got it,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. While Offit supports boosters for older adults, he believes it’s a bit early for the general public just yet.
In fact, Gary McLean, professor in Molecular Biology in London, said that fully vaccinated people who’ve had COVID-19 may not even need a booster. While vaccines produce an immune response to the virus’s spike protein, producing “spike-specific” immunity, an infection produces a more general immunity, which protects you from variants and more. The union of these two means that these people are very well equipped to battle the virus.
New data suggests that vaccine immunity starts to wane after five months of getting the shot, particularly in regards to the Pfizer vaccine. Still, experts claim that an antibody test might be the most accurate way of determining who needs the booster or not, since everyone’s body responds to the vaccine differently.
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When discussing COVID-19, a day by day approach is the appropriate response. It’s important to keep up with the news and the COVID-19 rates in your area, that way you stay protected and know the activities that are safest to do.