As another COVID-19 variant causes cases to increase in Vermont, Vermonters have wondered if they should get another booster vaccine now available to protect against the virus.
The answer? It depends, according to Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
For most people, the first booster – the so-called third dose of the vaccine – has provided ample protection against the worst outbreaks of the virus, including hospitalization and death. Levine said during a news conference on April 12. He reiterated the need for at least one booster for the best protection against the virus during a subsequent press conference on 19 April.
“In many cases, vaccination can and will mean the difference between being sick and being hospitalized,” Levine said on April 19.
Who should have a 2nd booster – or 4th vaccine dose – against COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allow people who are 50 years or older, or who are immunocompromised and aged 12 years and older, to get the second booster.
“The difference with the wording around the second booster is that you can get it, but not everyone should get it,” Levine said on April 12.
Levine said he felt the second booster would be most beneficial to the following people:
- People 65 and older.
- People aged 50 to 65 years who have underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk if given COVID-19.
- People under the age of 50 who are immunocompromised.
“People who are qualified can choose whether they want to receive this dose based on their own personal risks, a family member at higher risk, or their own level of comfort,” Levine said, “The other booster is safe, and we supports Vermont’s decisions that it makes sense for them to receive this dose at this time. ”
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Still unsure if an extra booster is needed?
Levine said people who are unsure of their risk, or whether they need an extra booster, should talk to their doctor.
Vermonters can get their second dose through their provider, through a pharmacy or anywhere they get other vaccines, according to Vermont Health Department website.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters is available at healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.