You have likely seen two separate announcements regarding booster vaccines for COVID19 (SEE VIDEO BELOW).
Here is your primer:
Who can get a booster vaccine right now?
- Booster vaccines are advised for severely immunocompromised individuals:
- Active treatment for solid tumor or blood cancers
- Recipient of a solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
- Recipient of a CAR-T cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant within the past 2 years
- Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Adrich Syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (>20mg per day), biologic agents, TNF-blockers, cancer chemotherapeutic agents, antimetabolites (e.g. 5-FU, methotrexate)
- You should receive a booster of the same brand of mRNA vaccine that you have already received. If the correct brand is not available, then it is permissible to get the other mRNA vaccine brand
- This recommendation only applies to those who have previously received one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). Data is still pending for those who have received a Janssen (J&J) COVID19 vaccine
What about everyone else?
- COVID19 booster vaccinations may go into effect for the general public but data is still being reviewed by the CDC, FDA, and ACIP.
Why do I need a booster?
- We are seeing waning immunity in many vaccinated individuals, especially those at higher risk.
- Booster vaccines will hopefully provide extended and higher levels of immunity
The delta variant of COVID19 has really changed the game in this pandemic with increased viral transmissibility and infectivity. The fortunate news is that vaccinations are helping to reduce severity of disease. This is why vaccinations are the MOST helpful way to prevent serious harm from COVID19.