A COVID booster shot is an extra dose of a vaccine administered after the protection offered by the first injection(s) has started to weaken. The booster contributes to the maintenance of good protection against severe coronavirus symptoms. Find doctor to confirm if you need a booster dose before getting it to avoid serious complications.
Local and worldwide statistics reveal that vaccine protection against COVID-19 infection begins to decrease about six months following the final vaccine dose in the initial immunization series, if not sooner. Over time, the level of protection declines even more. There is also a decrease in protection against serious symptoms, especially in the elderly. Furthermore, worldwide studies have demonstrated that a primary vaccine series provides less protection against Omicron variant infection than earlier variants and that boosters improve protection against infection and fatal infections caused by Omicron. As a result, booster vaccination is important to maintain COVID-19 protection.
How can you tell whether you need a booster dose?
Consult your doctor if you’re qualified for a booster but aren’t confident you need another shot. The doctors will assist you in making a choice depending on your health benefits and the dangers of receiving an extra dose.
Checking your antibody levels, also known as antibody titers, is one method your doctor may use to evaluate and make this decision. Antibodies are a crucial component of immunity, particularly in the early stages of infection. If your titers are low, a booster injection may be advised. However, we do not encourage doing titer measurements regularly.
The qualifying conditions for a COVID booster are, unfortunately, puzzling. However, the easiest way to begin is to consider:
- Your age.
- Vaccination types that you initially acquired.
- How long has it been since your first vaccination?
Who is eligible for booster vaccinations and the types of vaccines suitable for them:
- Anyone over the age of 18 who has received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination within the last five months is eligible for a booster dose of any available vaccine.
- Teens aged 12 to 17 who were vaccinated with Pfizer at least five months ago are eligible for a Pfizer booster shot.
- Anyone over the age of 18 who has received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination within the last six months is eligible for a booster dose of any available vaccine.
- Anyone over the age of 18 who has received the J&J vaccination within the last two months is eligible for a second dose of any available vaccine.
- Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible for a booster shot after 28 days after their second Pfizer or Moderna injection. An individual is considered immunocompromised if they have any of the following conditions:
- Is now undergoing treatment for a solid tumor or blood cancer
- Has had a solid-organ transplant and is on immunosuppressive drugs
- In the previous two years, he or she has undergone a stem cell transplant.
- Is currently being treated with immunosuppressive drugs such as high-dose corticosteroids.
- Has a moderate to severe primary immunodeficiencies, such as the DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes
- Is suffering from advanced or untreated HIV infection
This applies to anybody aged 5 and above, however, children aged 5 to 17 are only eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine since this is the only vaccine approved for use in this age range.
What if you have had Covid-19 infection before a booster shot?
COVID-19 immunity is confusing, particularly for those who have both natural immunity (from recent infection) and vaccine-induced immunity. The question of how these two could interact and if protection might be additive has yet to be solved.
We all know that having COVID-19 may cause an increase in antibodies that protect you against re-infection with the virus, so there’s a chance that natural immunity can work as a ‘booster’ at some point.
Furthermore, there is some evidence indicating COVID-19 infection followed by immunization may produce extraordinarily effective protection, but there isn’t enough data to say if this may replace a vaccine booster injection.
If you have recently had a COVID-19 infection and are eligible for a booster, you should have your injection once your symptoms have subsided and the required period has passed since your primary vaccination of either Pfizer (5 months), Moderna (6 months), or J&J (2 months). Those who got monoclonal antibodies as part of their COVID-19 treatment plan must wait 90 days before receiving a COVID booster shot.