3.31.22 – Updated Booster Shot Guidance

Hi, I’m Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the health officer for Anne Arundel County. Welcome to our Weekly Health Update. The COVID vaccines, masks, at home testing, and treatment are how you can continue to protect you and your loved ones from COVID. Today, let’s talk about updated guidelines on boosters for the COVID vaccine.

What should I know about the authorization of a second booster shot?
In groups with higher risk, people who are older or have moderate or severe immunocompromise, immunity after the first booster decreases and a second booster helps restore that immunity against the severe consequences of COVID. Because of this, the FDA and CDC are now authorizing a second booster shot for those at higher risk.

What’s the updated guidance for people with moderate or severe immunocompromise?
People 12 and older with moderate or severe immunocompromise can get a second booster at least 4 months after the first booster. People 12 to 17 years old can get Pfizer, and people 18 and older can get either Pfizer or Moderna.

As a reminder, people with moderate or severe immunocompromise should get 3 doses for their primary series and a first booster three months after the primary series.

What’s the updated guidance for people 50 and older?
People 50 and older can get a second booster at least 4 months after the first booster. They can get either of the two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer or Moderna. The older you are and the more chronic diseases you have, the more you should consider getting a second booster.

As a reminder, people 50 and older should get their primary series and a booster 5 months after their initial series.

So what should I do?
Yes, this is complicated. If you are eligible for a second booster, and you want to get it, you can go ahead and get it. If you have questions or are not sure, talk to your medical provider about this.

For information on where to get the COVID vaccine, check out aacounty.org/covidvax

Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll see you next week.

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