Dr. Fauci: Boosters wane after four months but not everyone needs a second booster

As we await the news of the Omicron-specific booster, now under development in separate trials from Moderna and Pfizer, many of us are trying to decide whether to get a second booster shot. New studies show that the effectiveness of the booster shots begins to wane after about four months, but that they remain very protective against hospitalization and death. Dr. Fauci breaks it down for us, stating that not everyone may need a fourth shot at this time.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the mRNA shot’s protection begins to decline after about four months, according to a study released Friday.

Although vaccine effectiveness against COVID-related hospitalizations was at 91 percent during the first two months after a third dose, it decreased to 78 percent by the fourth month.

The study, which was conducted during the Omicron-dominate phase of the pandemic, focused on those who sought medical treatment for COVID symptoms. It did not include a breakdown of age or whether their third dose was a booster or part of their primary inoculation series, which the CDC recommends for some immunocompromised people.

“There may be the need for yet again another boost — in this case, a fourth-dose boost for an individual receiving the mRNA — that could be based on age, as well as underlying conditions,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told reporters Tuesday.

Fauci clarified that recommendations for a fourth dose will likely not be made “across the board for everyone,” adding: “It very likely will take into account what subset of people have a diminished, or not, protection against the important parameters such as hospitalization.”

[From People]

Considering all the people getting blood clots, DVT and strokes from long covid, I will be getting a second booster shot. I just have to figure out the best timing for this based on the recommendations and may wait until the Omicron boosters are available, hopefully next month. One study out of Israel found that a fourth booster shot may not be enough to prevent infection with the Omicron variant, so waiting may be the best course of action. Second boosters/fourth shots increase antibody levels up to five times and are very safe according to studies. Boosters remain the best protection against severe covid, hospitalization and death so make sure to get yours when you’re eligible. I’ll keep getting boosters as long as I can and I’ll keep wearing a mask in public spaces no matter what the laws are. You just cannot trust people.

Photos credit: Instar

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23 Responses to “Dr. Fauci: Boosters wane after four months but not everyone needs a second booster”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    I’m going to try and wait for the Omicron specific booster. I’m supposed to travel in July for my Dad’s birthday. I hope it’s ready by then!

    • Seaflower says:

      A riend of mine had the normal booster (2 x AZ and 1 x Pfizer) and she just got omicron. Shes a very bad asthmatic but luckily only had aches, chills and sore throat for 7 days. Shes 4 days w no symptoms now.

    • Nikki says:

      Ah Snuffles, I posted my comment before I read yours, but I think yours makes sense, and maybe I’ll ask my doctor about that! Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

    • Moxylady says:

      I had a covid stroke (tia) late December 2019. I’ve also been diagnosed with long covid.
      Give me allllllll the shots. Even though they fucking wreck me for a solid 48 hours.
      I had omicron too. (I’m just blessed what can I say). It sucked. Bad.
      I’ll take the omi booster and another regular booster thank you.

      • Aud says:

        I react super poorly to the vaccines as well (moderna x3) and I’m currently home with a child who I suspect is puking due to her second dose. But yeah give me all the shots, f covid.

      • Mac says:

        @Moxylady I’m sorry to hear that. Long covid is beyond scary. A family member just spent 22 days in the hospital weeks after he tested negative.

      • Truthiness says:

        Oh God. I am so jealous of everyone who can get boosters. I am long haul and the vaccines sent me into Dante’s 7th level of hell. I was working in finance through my LH because my work is all cognitive, I could be at 50% and still maintain. The vaccines ended that. My son flat out prohibited me, with cause, from contemplating the boosters. He said I’ll die, and he has a point.

  2. Nikki says:

    If I need a shot every 4 months, I’m game!

    • ZanBee says:

      You all should consider getting the shingles vaccine too. I recommend everyone google “shingles & covid”.

  3. Liz Version 700 says:

    I used to get allergy shots once a week for years. A booster every 4 months or so is a breeze. In both cases you do what you need to do to avoid much worse situations. Sign me up

    • Jan90067 says:

      Same here, Liz. I gave myself my shots for almost 4 yrs. I will take the booster(s) as needed. NO. BIG. DEAL. as far as I’m concerned. I had my booster back in Sept. though, so I’m coming on the 6 mo. mark, and I’m supposed to go to NY in March. I hope the Omicron booster becomes available sooner rather than later!

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      I share that history… sign me up!

    • Jennifer says:

      I get Depo shots every 3 months. If I have to get shots frequently for the rest of my life to not catch it, I’m in!

      I’m really worried about the whole “you don’t need it” attitude here though. I got my booster in October and I guess from reading this, I am officially out of super protection AGAIN 🙁 I’m so tired of being told “I don’t need it” and then another variant comes along and things get worse. Clearly this is so bad we are going to be needing shots every few months for the rest of our lives, why are the medical professionals trying to fight that so hard?

  4. candy says:

    I’m still afraid of long covid, but I currently have three shots. I will get the fourth booster on time (roughly 6-9 months) whether it’s omicron specific or not. My neighbors already have their fourth shot, and I was actually surprised to hear this, but now it totally makes sense given this announcement. I would get a shot everyday if that’s what this required, I do not want covid. That said, omicron doesn’t seem as bad as delta.

  5. FHMom says:

    This really sucks. I’m going to wait until late summer or early fall. Sigh. Will this ever end?

  6. mj says:

    I work in healthcare. I’ll get any booster they throw at me, I’m not taking my chances.

    • KSK Pamuk says:

      Right there with you, I have to go tour hospitals in Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria in early summer, I will be boosted to the max and in line for whatever they can come out with next. I am planning my trip 1 month after my 2nd boost, and I will wear a mask inside and out, no thanks to long covid, or any covid, just no thanks. Grateful I live where I have access to the vax, because we are discussing a 4th shot while a huge portion of the worlds population is waiting for their first one. My husband and I said the one thing we learned from COVID is just how stupid a large portion of the population is, and most of the idiots are running our governments. I don’t see myself ever walking around in a mall or crowded area without wearing a mask again.

  7. Twin Falls says:

    Holy never ending hell, Batman.

  8. Christine says:

    I figure I’ll get another booster whenever it becomes available. I know a couple people who have gotten Covid even after getting the booster but thankfully their symptoms were very, very mild. One of my coworkers refused to get the vaccine (huge Trump supporter) and he and his wife got sick and she died from it a couple weeks ago. My workplace is flirting with the idea of lifting the mask mandate. I really hope they don’t, although I’ll still wear mine. They lifted it for about a month back in Jan about 10% of the workforce went out with Covid within those few weeks. Like you said, you can’t trust people.

  9. AmelieOriginal says:

    Has the CDC/FDA authorized fourth shot boosters for the general public? I was under the impression only third shots had been authorized for the time being? I got my booster December 1st and managed to avoid omicron so far… and avoid covid altogether somehow for the nearly 2 years we’ve been in this. Am I allowed to get a fourth booster after just four months?

    • Jennifer says:

      They have NOT been authorized for the general public and it sounds like from this, they aren’t going to be any time soon :/ But it also sounds like WE NEED A FOURTH ONE after four months and I’m freaking out.

    • Laurie says:

      I just checked with my pharmacist (NJ) today. 4th boosters are only being given to cancer patients and those with organ transplants. I asked, even if I pay and don’t rely on insurance, and he said yes. I also asked if he had any idea when they would be approved and his reply was who knows???

  10. Kim Bint says:

    Conspiracy theories say that only those who should be eliminated according to government will receive repeated recommendations for a booster repeatedly.