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Wait until late-summer for 2nd COVID booster?


MickinMD
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I saw that I could get my COVID 2nd Pfizer booster at the Rite Aid 1 mile from my house and appointments are available as soon as this evening or tomorrow and the days afterward.  It's where I got the other 3 shots.

I was just ready to punch the button to make an appointment for tomorrow morning when I stopped and thought: wouldn't I be better off waiting until a couple months before COVID rates soar in the Fall?

A Google search led me to the CNET article excerpted below from April 2, 2022.  Dr. Monica Gandhi - in boldface below - is an expert that agreed with my non-expert, but logical opinion: "I'd rather my parents get the booster in late summer, so they're fully protected in the fall," Gandhi told CNET.   Since I don't have a serious health condition besides Type-II Diabetes to deal with, I'm going to wait until late summer to get the 2nd booster!

Rite Aid won't schedule COVID shot appointments later than June 7th, but I saved the webpage and and set a Google Calendar Reminder for August 1, when I should be able to schedule a September appointment for the 2nd booster.

The vaccine kicks-in within 14 days but may only last 4-6 months at full force.  If I schedule an appointment for late September, that will cover the peak period, which should be in January again.  Let's hope it continues to stay mild and hopefully decrease with the first fall/winter with lots of vaccinations.

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The article's key points:

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told reporters Tuesday he would advise older relatives to get another booster right away "because of the higher level of protection."

...But vaccine efficacy wanes over time, so getting a booster now means you won't have maximum protection in six or seven months. A BA.2 variant, dubbed "stealth omicron," is now the leading strain in the US, but how serious it will become -- and how quickly -- remains to be seen.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said it might make sense to plan your booster around respiratory pathogen season in the fall, when cases of COVID tend to go up. 

"I'd rather my parents get the booster in late summer, so they're fully protected in the fall," Gandhi told CNET. 

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The Israeli data suggests the second booster’s benefits against omicron are short lived, dropping off after 4-8 weeks. I haven’t read a clear reason for this, but it has tempered my enthusiasm for getting a second booster. But only 30% of the US population has gotten a booster, so it’s a moot point for many.

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But the booster’s effectiveness against infection in particular wanes after just four weeks and almost disappears after eight weeks. Protection against severe illness did not ebb in the six weeks after the extra dose, but the follow-up period was too short to determine whether a second booster provided better long-term protection against severe disease than a single booster.

 But if I had significant premorbid conditions, I might consider it if I lived in a community where omicron spikes again this spring. I wouldn’t wait for the increased immunity for later if the infectious risk was greatest now.

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I think I just meet the criteria, over 50 & 4 months.  My wife & I were discussing this recently and I’ll probably wait a little.

My county has been well behind LA county with our infection rates and never saw the huge numbers they did.  That won’t prevent me from getting a second booster but as Mick points out I may wait it out a few months. 

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18 hours ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

The Israeli data suggests the second booster’s benefits against omicron are short lived, dropping off after 4-8 weeks. I haven’t read a clear reason for this, but it has tempered my enthusiasm for getting a second booster. But only 30% of the US population has gotten a booster, so it’s a moot point for many.

 But if I had significant premorbid conditions, I might consider it if I lived in a community where omicron spikes again this spring. I wouldn’t wait for the increased immunity for later if the infectious risk was greatest now.

Maybe I should wait until December to protect me in January!

There's an interesting article, dated March 30th, on NPR:

there may be more effective vaccines on the horizon. As vaccine makers test omicron-specific vaccines and continue research on vaccines that could fend off multiple variants, it may make more sense for people at lower risk to wait.

I've looked and looked and I can't find out the average length of time, after the 1st booster, the 2nd booster was given in Israel.

I got my 1st booster Oct. 11, 2021.  The same NPR article notes:

Two months after a third dose, people were 91% protected against hospitalization. But by four months, that protection dropped down to about 78%.

"It means that people who were boosted three, four, five, six months ago probably have limited protection against current infection,"

So I wonder if a new booster, almost a year after the last booster, will last as long as the last booster.  I'm not an expert, but flu shots are renewed each year and their length of effectiveness doesn't become shorter each year.  If the effectiveness of the last COVID booster is wearing off significantly, won't the body react more strongly to the new booster?

I don't know those answers, but a new booster about a year after my last one can't hurt.  If the come out with an Omicron-focused vaccine, I'll get that as well.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, MickinMD said:

flu shots are renewed each year

The flu shot you get each year is different than the previous years, with coverage of the expected dominant flu strains, based on sampling of what strains birds are carrying. It’s not a booster to the previous years’. 

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17 minutes ago, Dottles said:

Omicron isn’t the show stopper alpha was. 

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Now omicron is estimated to account for nearly all the virus circulating in the nation. And even though it causes less severe disease for most people, the fact that it is more transmissible means more people are falling ill and dying.

I think it depends upon your risk factors and habits. I am expecting this to be a brief, sharp wave of infection. But some deaths will come from it. 

8F83076B-9378-41BC-BBEA-273DB7C48AA8.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

I think it depends upon your risk factors and habits. I am expecting this to be a brief, sharp wave of infection. But some deaths will come from it. 

8F83076B-9378-41BC-BBEA-273DB7C48AA8.jpeg

Clint looks really young there. 

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