A public health expert and epidemiologist told me, “Not just, no! But, hell no!” She added, “You need to let your readers know that if they have had the initial COVID vaccine and are eligible for the COVID booster and have not been boosted, do it now!”
Both Pfizer and Moderna have initiated clinical trials evaluating an Omicron-specific booster, but my friend emphasizes that people who have not yet been boosted should not wait for these shots to become available before getting a booster.
She says, “It will be months before the trials are completed, and there is no certainty that the Omicron-specific boosters will provide better protection than the original boosters.”
Furthermore, there is significant evidence that the current boosters help protect against severe disease caused by Omicron.
According to the experts at ConsumerLab.com, “Getting a booster dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines appears to increase protection against symptomatic Omicron infection compared to receiving only two doses, with no significant difference in effectiveness between the brands, regardless of which vaccine was received for the primary series.”
They point to a study in the U.S. that found that the odds of developing a symptomatic infection due to Omicron was 65% or 69% lower, respectively, for those who received three doses of Pfizer or Moderna compared to those who received only two doses of the vaccines.
In addition, those who received three doses rather than two also had lower levels of virus (based on PCR testing), suggesting that they were less likely to be infectious to others (Accorsi, JAMA 2022).
Finally, getting one of the currently available boosters will likely not necessarily preclude you from getting an Omicron-specific vaccine in the future.
This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.