COVID vaccine: 2nd booster recommended, doctors say

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new recommendations for second COVID-19 vaccine boosters, approved by the FDA for vulnerable populations.

The booster schedule is accelerated due to different variants – but health experts don't think people should worry about having to get a booster every four months in the future.

"(Cases) may be coming down, but we’re not out of the woods yet," said Ascension Physician Margaret Hennessy.

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The CDC recommends the second booster dose four months after the first for people who are immunocompromised and those who are at least 50 years old.

"I think a lot of people are thinking to themselves, ‘Numbers are low, we don’t have mask mandates, things seem to be getting back to normal – do I really need to go out and get this booster dose?’" UW Health Chief Quality Officer Dr. Jeff Pothof said. "My recommendation is to go out and get it."

Health experts say vaccines and boosters are still the best way to ensure a layer of protection, even as public health restrictions are relaxed. However, that does not mean everyone is going to jump at the opportunity to get double-boosted.

"I think one of the things that I get a little worried about is are people going to get so sick of having to get boosters that they’re just kind of like, ‘Oh, forget it,’" said Hennessy.

Pothof said it is a valid concern, but he said it is safe – and a small step to take to ensure life as we know it today remains on track to "normal."

"I think some people wonder if there’s harm in getting all these extra shots. It’s unusual for a vaccine to need to get these doses in such a quick succession, and it really is a function of the pandemic and how many variants are being created," Pothof said.

Because the second booster dose was just approved, many pharmacies do not have doses yet. It is best to check with a local health provider before seeking the shot.

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