The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all eligible people get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A person’s immune protection from the vaccine tends to weaken over time, and a booster dose can help train the immune system to continue recognizing the virus to protect the body against it.
A recent study assessed the durability of a Moderna third dose after six months. Researchers found waning levels of neutralizing antibodies six months after the booster. The CDC also found significant waning protection against emergency department and urgent care visits five months after the first booster. Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization decreased a little but largely held up five months after the booster.
The studies mentioned above pooled all age groups. But researchers know that older adults don’t mount as durable an immune response as younger people. This explains why breakthrough infections have occurred at a much higher rate among people ages 65 and up. A recent study in the Lancet assessed the durability of a third dose among people ages 76 to 96 years old. Researchers found that the third dose improved neutralizing antibodies, but in the face of omicron, antibodies still dropped substantially following a booster.
Should I Get a Second Booster?
If you meet the criteria for a second booster shot, you can get it. It is a personal choice. People over the age of 60 are likely to benefit the most from the second booster and should be strongly encouraged to get the shot. Boosters help prevent severe disease and hospitalization in this age group.
If you are eligible but were recently infected with Omicron, you may choose to wait a short while before getting your second booster. Please know that you can choose to get a second booster any time after you become eligible. It does not need to be exactly 4 months after your first booster.
Update: Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, authorizing the use of a single booster dose for administration to individuals 5 through 11 years of age at least five months after completion of a primary series with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
How to register:
You must register in advance right here CVS.com — there will be a link to Michigan under the “Vaccine available in select CVS Pharmacy locations” dropdown. You can also do this through the CVS Pharmacy app.
Link to register: www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine
People without online access can contact CVS Customer Service: 800-746-7287.