A 4th Covid-19 Shot Has Now Been Authorized By the FDA For All Over the Age of 50
Many American adults got their first Covid-19 vaccine about a year ago. If they got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, that consisted of two doses. If they got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it was one and done, but not really.
After the initial doses of the Covid-19 vaccine proved to be less effective as time went on and new variants of the virus emerged, a booster shot was recommended to be taken at least 5 months after the 2nd dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 2 months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Not everyone has gotten their booster shot, but many who have may be wondering if one booster is enough. After all, some people who were fully vaccinated and boosted still got Covid when the omicron variant swept through the country at the end of last year and earlier this year.
The FDA still recommends just the one booster shot for most people ages 12+, but for anyone who is 50 or older, the FDA has authorized a 2nd booster shot which could become available in pharmacies as early as this week.
After the FDA’s recommendation, the decision now turns to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky who is expected to allow the 2nd booster to become available to adults 50+ but stop short of actually recommending the 2nd booster shot. That would make the decision of whether or not to get double boosted up to the individual and their doctor.
The United States would not be the first country to authorize second booster shots. Countries including Chile, Israel and Sweden already allow adults who want a fourth dose of the vaccine to get it. According to data from Israel, a 2nd booster shot can offer adults 60+ a greater change of survival.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a 2nd booster shot would not give you greater protection than the original two doses; however, since the protection seems to wane over time, a 2nd booster could raise the protection level back where it originally was.
A decision has yet to be made if younger Americans will become eligible for a second booster shot. Experts are trying to determine whether an annual shot is a good idea or if it would make more sense to have shots specific to new variants.
If a 4th booster ends up being recommended for younger adults in the fall, it is likely that it would also be recommended for the 50+ group, which would mean that group could have a total of 5 doses of the vaccine at that point.