Should You Consider Getting Another Covid Booster?
Do you feel fully protected from the coronavirus? People around the world have received two vaccinations, and some have even received an additional booster shot, to better protect themselves and those around them from the virus. There is now a question of whether or not you should receive a second booster shot.
The F.D.A has authorized additional booster shots for older aged Americans and those who are immunocompromised. This decision was made due to current evidence showing some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from contracting Covid-19 in these groups of people. There is still a lot more research to be done on the effects of a second booster shot, but it seems as though the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
A question many Americans have is who benefits the most from receiving a second booster shot. According to the limited evidence that is available, only people who are immunocompromised or older than 65 will benefit from the second shot. If you are very high risk of complications from Covid, you should seriously consider receiving the additional vaccination.
It is still unclear if receiving a second booster will help prevent infecting those around you, however it’s reasonable to believe it will. Reduced infections should mean lower probability that someone will pass on the virus.
When Should I Get The Shot?
Your protection against the virus wanes quickly after receiving a booster, as it only lasts a couple months. It takes about a week for your immune system to rev up, and from there your antibodies start to decline within the next two to three months. If you plan on traveling and are eligible for a booster, it may be helpful to wait until you leave to have maximum protection. If you recently had Covid, you should not need an additional booster. Being infected with the virus is like a booster within itself, since it produces the same antibodies.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
The vaccine itself is overwhelmingly safe, however there are side effects that come with any vaccination. You may experience a fever, headache, joint aches, and fatigue. There is also some evidence that suggests being exposed to the virus a fourth time does not make your immunity any stronger than it is after the third.
The bottom line is that a fourth booster shot is a great option for those who may benefit from it, if you are older or immunocompromised. If you are in good health, however, and are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot, you may not need the fourth booster. Continue to do your part in keeping your community safe by washing your hands, practicing social distancing, and getting tested and isolating if you feel sick!