Gladstone Institute virologist says second COVID-19 booster for everyone may be advised in fall

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — On Tuesday, the FDA authorized a second booster for people 50 and older and those 12 and older who are immunocompromised.

Contra Costa County also just announced that it will begin offering a second booster for people 50 and older or immunocompromised beginning Wednesday, March 30.

This comes as cases of the BA.2 subvariant of omicron increase across the country.

“The problem is that we have this long-lasting immunity in the background. What we lack against these omicron viruses, BA.1 and BA.2, is protection against infection. This booster will give us some protection against infection, and that’s important for people who don’t have a vigorous immune system,” said Dr. Warner C. Greene, principal investigator for the Gladstone Institutes.

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Data from Israel suggests that a second booster for adults aged 60 to 100 reduced their risk of hospitalization and death.

“There’s a period of about 40 days if you’ve had the fourth vaccine, you’re about 3 times less likely to die from COVID,” Dr Greene said.

Dr. Warner Greene has been a virologist for over 30 years. He doesn’t necessarily recommend a second booster if you’re young and have already had three injections, but knows the option may soon be here for the general public.

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“Young people, their immune systems are very robust, so they probably need the fourth booster less than the older population,” Greene said and added, “Moderna has asked for it to be approved for everyone, Pfizer has asked of people 65 and older and with health conditions I suspect everyone will be asked to get a fourth booster in the fall.

Dr. Greene said it was interesting that the FDA authorized a second recall without consulting its committee of independent vaccine experts. Still, he says the option is still safe.

What can you do if you want to queue for a second reminder?

California’s MyTurn website has the option to schedule a second booster if you’re immunocompromised. After today’s FDA clearance, there may be another option for people 50 and older to book appointments through the states site, but it hasn’t been updated yet. .

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“I would suggest calling ahead just to make sure the location has availability of callback and appointments etc. Not all pharmacies may offer this,” said Deepak Sisodiya, managing director of pharmacy services at Stanford Health Care.

Sisodiya recommends going through your doctor.

“I think we are caught between the two worlds. Perhaps not having the plethora of vaccination sites that we had before, (my) suggestion would be to contact your medical providers to see where you can get the vaccine,” Sisodiya said.

Sisodiya said pharmaceuticals will be key moving forward.

“Oral treatment, we have Paxlovid. Pfizer drug and Molnupiravir Merk are also the two agents currently available. We have to measure based on the type of strains of COVID that are felt in a geographical area. I insert this because Paxlovid might be more favorable against the BA.2 strain,” Sisodiya said.

If you are immunocompromised or aged 50 and over and wish to receive a second booster, you will need to wait at least four months after your first booster.

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