SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Rising COVID-19 case rates across the nation are outpacing demand for a second booster shot. Many Americans are holding off on getting the additional jab, despite doctors saying it provides the best protection against the virus.
Some think it might be best to wait until updated vaccines are potentially released later this year.
If you are on the fence about getting a second COVID-19 booster shot, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says just 28% of adults ages 50 years and older with a first booster have received a second dose.
The CDC adds those who are fully vaccinated and have been boosted twice are four times less likely to die from the virus.
A lot of Americans, who may be holding out on another shot, are waiting on updated vaccines that may be available in the fall. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said vaccine manufacturers should tailor their shots to protect against omicron subvariants circulating across the country.
As of now, BA.5 is the predominant strain. Doctor Dean Blumberg is a professor and chief of pediatric infectious disease at UC Davis Health. He says people should not procrastinate when it comes to COVID-19.
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“I just wouldn’t wait,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Dean Blumberg of UC Davis. “I’d get that protection now, and then I’d wait for those new ones to come aground. We don’t know yet what the composition of those new vaccines will be. We don’t know yet about the timing of those new vaccines. There’s very promising work on them, and one is updating to the currently circulating variants. That has a risk though because it’s possible by the time those vaccines are available, there might be a new variant.”
Deputy health officer with Contra Costa Health Services, Dr. Sofe Mekuria agrees.
“Most individuals who are dying from COVID-19 are either unvaccinated or not up to date on their vaccinations and didn’t get their booster when they were eligible,” Mekuria said. “So, really recommend individuals to go get out there if you haven’t gotten your booster.”
The longer you delay your shot, the more susceptible you are to a breakthrough infection and severe illness.