Are We Headed Toward Seasonal COVID-19 Booster Shots? - Mon Wellness
Are We Headed Toward Seasonal COVID-19 Booster Shots?

Are We Headed Toward Seasonal COVID-19 Booster Shots?

IIf there’s one thing we’ve learned in more than two years of pandemics, it is that information and recommendations for COVID-19 are constantly evolving. As rates and risks change, so do we. We have been navigating vaccine launches, boost shots and new waves and we are better prepared today than we were in 2020. However, with new variations and revised vaccine recommendations, you may be wondering if we are getting closer to a seasonal COVID-19 boost shot.

Current guidelines for the second COVID-19 booster vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people 50 years of age and older and immunocompromised people 12 years of age and older four months after receiving the first booster. In addition, if the original vaccine was two doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine at least four months ago, the CDC recommends boosting it with a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines teach cells how to produce a protein that will trigger an immune response in the body. The second amplifiers can only be Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech (and for children 12 to 17 years old, only Pfizer-BioNTech).

Well, there are guidelines, but the CDC says that even if you qualify, you might consider waiting for a second booster if you have had COVID-19 for the past three months or if you think taking a second booster now will help you. makes it unlikely you will get another amplifier in the fall. According to the CDC, a second booster may be more critical in the fall of 2022 or if a new vaccine for a future variant of COVID-19 becomes available.

Why are boosters important for COVID-19?

“The duration of immunity and the need for repeat vaccinations are still being determined, so it is difficult to define it as a temporary booster or fixed booster,” says Otto Yang, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at UCLA.

“Studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and that taking a booster dose of the vaccine provides stronger protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death than just the initial series (which can be two or three doses depending on the the vaccine and the specific criteria for the patient) “, says Sherif Mossad, MD, infectious disease doctor at the Cleveland Clinic. “We encourage all those who qualify to receive their COVID-19 vaccination and to be supported.”

While new findings from the CDC suggest that 60 percent of people in the United States are infected with Omicron or another variant of the coronavirus, the rising rate does not mean that boosters or vaccines are not necessary. “Since humans can become re-infected, there is no potential for herd immunity,” says Dr Yang. “Typically, a recurrent infection is milder than the first, but that is not a guarantee and it could be that a new, more deadly strain is causing a wave at some point.”

It is also important to protect yourself with a second booster, because about four months after the first booster, the power is reduced. “It’s not black and white. It is not that suddenly after four months the vaccine does nothing. “It’s that after four months, its effectiveness starts to decline steadily,” says Dr. Yang.

And, if you are worried that the extra doses may be counterproductive, Dr. Yang says this is misinformation. “People are misusing scientific principles to sound the alarm,” says Dr. Yang. “There is a big boost to the thought that the vaccine will deplete your immune system. Exhaustion is a formal term used by immunologists where the immune response to the virus is overstimulated. And it is not true “, he explains. The mRNA vaccines provide short-term exposure to the spike protein found on the surface of the virus, says Dr. Yang. “People with natural infections from COVID-19 have a lot more spike protein in their body for a longer period of time and do not suffer from immune depletion,” he explains.

So, are there any seasonal COVID-19 booster vaccines in our future?

At the moment it is not clear whether we are moving towards seasonal aids for COVID, explains Dr. Mossad. “Recent data showing declining immunity suggest that seasonal COVID-19 vaccines may not be sufficient unless COVID-19 creates clear seasonal flu-like outbreaks,” he says. “This virus has shown us time and time again that it is unpredictable and that additional waves of infection are possible, so it is better to get protection now through vaccination and boost than when another outbreak occurs.”

That said, Dr. Yang says COVID-19 amplifiers are possible. “The hope is that eventually, a way will be found to adapt the vaccines, so that a booster is given once a year. “We have to see if COVID itself becomes more seasonal.” “Companies are working on ways to adapt the vaccine to get a better long-term effect. “Hopefully we will find out in a year or two.”

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