You might be wondering if you should get the second Covid-19 booster now or so to speak wait a second, and wait until the fall. This may be because messages about the booster part deux have not exactly been super duper clear. A press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 29 quoted its director, Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, as saying, “Boosters are safe and people over the age of 50 can now get an extra booster 4 months after their previous dose to further increase their protection.” But “can” is not always the same as “should”. For example, you can probably put five hot dogs in your mouth at once. In addition, there have been new Covid-19 vaccines, such as those more specific to the Omicron variants, which will be available sometime in the summer. So the question is, what should you do with another booster?
The first thing you need to do, of course, is to determine if you are actually 50 years and older ago the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in late March second booster dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for the specific age group. This means that if you are currently 49 years old and 364 days old or younger, then you do not have to worry about an extra booster, at least not another day. There is one set of exceptions, as the FDA approved the second booster for those younger (specifically at least 12 years or older to get the Pfizer Covid-19 booster and 18 years and older to get the Moderna booster), which has significantly weaker immune systems.
If you’re not sure if you’re 50 or older, check out your previous Facebook or Instagram photos and count how many candles were on your last birthday cake. Alternatively, you can see how often you use the words “groovy”, “rolodex” and “necking”. If you routinely say things like “I accidentally overturned my groovy rolodex while I was necking”, then you might be over 50.
In any case, this second booster should not come until at least four months have passed since your first booster dose. This can allow your immune system to be more ready to respond fully to the other booster. If you do not fall within the two major groups outlined by the FDA, do not even think about getting another Covid-19 booster because the word “unauthorized” and everything else in general should not fit together.
So again, “can” and “authorized to get” are not the same as they should be. Nevertheless, there are some compelling reasons to go after Booster Act 2 if you fall within one of the authorized groups. As I have indicated for Forbes recently, this pandemic is not over. SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread. In fact, recent weeks have seen increases in Covid-19 cases across the United States, raising concerns that another Covid-19 increase could potentially occur. Yet many people have already gone from “we are in this together” to “I do not want to be bothered.” They have dropped Covid-19 precautions such as the use of face mask as if they were underwear made from nails and sandpaper. Even when people claim to have been “cautious”, treat such statements with a packet of salt. There are now over 330 million definitions of “cautious”, give or take a few million, as Nina L. Shapiro, MD, professor of pediatric ear, nose and throat surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has pointed out on Twitter:
In addition, your immunity from previous vaccinations or infections may already be declining. It’s a bit like being at a job interview or first date and getting your clothes to slowly melt away. It may leave you a little too exposed during this uncertain time period “to rise or not to rise”. This is especially true if you have a higher risk of infection or more severe Covid-19 failure.
In addition, it is not as if it would be particularly risky to get another booster. There is no indication that the side effect rate for the second booster is higher than for the first booster or the primary series. Pfizer’s second booster is exactly the same as Pfizer’s first booster, which was the same as the first two doses of the Pizer Covid-19 vaccine. Moderna second booster is the same dose as Moderna’s first booster, which was half the dose (50 micrograms) of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for the two-dose primary series. If the Covid-19 vaccines somehow turned you into a giant magnet and made keys and other metal objects stick to your forehead, as some on social media have claimed, you would already look like the refrigerator door of a family with more elementary school children eventually .
In turn, the weather gets warmer and more humid. The activities have gradually moved outdoors. All this can reduce the transmission of the virus to some extent. Plus, Moderna and Pfizer have been working on new Covid-19 vaccines that will be designed to provide better protection against the Omicron variants than the original mRNA vaccines have. E.g, a pre-print uploaded on April 15 to The research site described how Moderna has tested the use of a bivalent vaccine that includes mRNA encoding peak proteins found on the original pandemic-induced severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as well as mRNA encoding peak proteins beta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Bivalent means that the vaccine has two different things that your immune system can respond to. Moderna researchers found that this new bivalent combination appears to generate higher antibody levels against the Omicron variant than the current Moderna Covid-19. Such newer vaccines are not available to the public now, but may be later in the year before the fall.
So to quote from the video game Who wants to Be a Millionaire, what is the final answer? The CDC press release quotes Walensky as saying about getting the second booster: “This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions which increases their risk of serious illness from Covid-19, as they are most likely to benefit from receiving an extra booster dose at this time. “So if you fall into the categories mentioned by Walensky, it is a good idea to get the second booster.Another reason to get the booster if you are 50 years and older: if you are at greater risk of being exposed to Covid-19 coronavirus.This would be the case if you work in healthcare, on commercial flights, on other public transportation, in a mosh-bit, at a restaurant, in a busy store, or in other surroundings where you might routinely be among many other people.
Otherwise, if you are in the gray zone, so to speak, between 50 and 64 years of age with no underlying medical conditions or regular exposure to other people who may be infected, you can hold on for a second. You can wait until later in the summer to see what more Omicron-specific vaccines are available. In the meantime, make sure you maintain other Covid-19 precautions such as social distancing and wearing face masks while indoors in public. Remember that Covid-19 vaccines are not like a whole-body condom made of concrete. It does not provide 100% protection against Covid-19, no matter how shot you get, whether it is one, two, three, four or 87, which a man in Germany received.