Everything You Need to Know About the Latest COVID-19 Booster Recommendations

by Vaccinate Your Family

Are you boosted against COVID-19? Do you know if you’re eligible for your second booster? We’ve pulled together the information you need to understand the latest booster recommendations as of May 2022.

As we continue to learn about COVID-19 and navigate pandemic waves, booster recommendations change to keep up with the spread and mutation of the virus. Boosters have become more important as we have learned that some protection from the vaccines wanes over time. Getting the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines remains the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from hospitalization and death from COVID. Staying up-to-date with boosters (as recommended) can help strengthen that protection and keep it from waning over time.

This handy chart explains the booster recommendations, including who needs a booster, a second booster, and when. It also explains additional doses that are necessary for people who are immunocompromised to get the best possible protection.

Changes to the Recommendations as of May 2022

The CDC’s Advisory on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on May 20, 2022 to review the latest data on boosters. After reviewing the data, the recommendations now include:

  • Children ages 5 -12 should get a booster dose at least 5 months after completing the primary series
  • People 12+ who are immunocompromised and everyone 50+ SHOULD get a second booster at least 4 months after their last booster – previously, this recommendation was that they “may” get a booster, and it has been strengthened to “should” after reviewing the data on COVID spreading in communities

You can read the press release from the CDC updating their recommendations here.

Do kids really need boosters?

The boosters have been recommended for kids 5+ because the benefits of the protection outweigh any risks of vaccination. Experts reviewed data on rare cases of vaccine side effects like myocarditis and pericarditis and found that a booster dose of the vaccine has even fewer potential side effects than the second dose in the primary series.

Since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5 through 11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized and, tragically, over 180 have died.

While vaccines have shown to be less effective at preventing infection against Omicron than they were against Alpha and Delta variants, they continue to provide some protection against infection and provide strong protection against hospitalization and death. As cases increase, it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date on COVID vaccines.

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