By September, many Americans will get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot for the first two shots they received. However, health experts said that there is a right time for getting a booster shot.
A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available now for people in the severely immunocompromised population. By mid-September, those who got their Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can also get their booster shots provided by the time it becomes available, it is at least eight months after the second dose.
Further, the Biden administration said that the booster shots would be available ahead of any ruling from the Food and Drug Administration or the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention advisory groups.
Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said that people should look at both sides of the coin before getting a booster shot. They should be aware of the benefits and the safety of getting the third dose. He added, “You’ll get a more robust immune response if you wait a little longer before you get a booster,” ABC News reported.
After getting the first shot, the authorized vaccines can provide good protection for at least six months or longer. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that they are not recommending going out and getting a booster now. Jay Bhatt, an internist, and geriatrician, also pointed out that they do not have the data yet that suggests people can benefit from having an additional dose before their immunity drops off. Americans should not be tempted to get a booster shot earlier than eight months from their last vaccination.
For those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it is unclear when they can get a booster shot, but health officials are now working on knowing the data surrounding it. What they are sure of is they would still need a booster shot, it’s just unclear now when they need to get the second dose.
Health officials also reminded that the third dose will be given to priority groups or those most vulnerable. People who got their vaccines in December and January are likewise part of the priority group.