SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – “If you are over 50 and haven’t gotten a shot this year. You should go get a shot. It’s gonna save your life,” said Dr. Ashish Jha in a press conference.

At a virtual White House briefing on COVID-19, the government’s top health experts said with the highly transmissible ba 5 variant now surging, Americans must take steps to protect themselves. “The data on this is very clear, if you’re over 50  that Extra Booster dramatically lowers your risk of getting into the hospital. Going to the ICU and dying,” Dr. Jha stated.

Currently, only those 50 and older are eligible for the 4th jab, but during the briefing officials confirmed they are looking at opening up the second booster to all adults.

Dr. Jha said at the briefing, “we have conversations all the time about what are possible things we can be doing to better protect the American people. So those conversations have been going on for a while.”

UC Berkeley infectious disease specialist Dr. John Swartzberg says the top priority must continue to be vaccinating older Americans and those with underlying conditions. He says there are those under 50 he believes should get it, if they become eligible.

Dr. Swartzberg told KRON4, “people who are really high risk of getting infected but are critical to a functional society,  not only first responders but doctors and nurses. So for added protection, I think is a good idea particularly when cases are going up and you need to have all hands on deck.”

He says others who work inside all day and deal with the public should also consider it if they become eligible.  The final decision lies with the F.D.A. with approval from the CDC.