As Omicron grows across the country, coronavirus version is infecting many people who have received their initial vaccine course – two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – but who have not yet received their booster shot.
So if you’ve had an omicron, should you get a booster, and if so, how long should you wait after the infection has passed?
The short answer is yes, you should still get a booster, but you may need to wait at least a few weeks to maximize the protective effect of the booster shot, one expert told Live Science.
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timing your booster dose
But let’s say you didn’t get around to getting the booster, and then got infected with Omicron, or you’re still recovering from Omicron. Should you still be promoted?
in that case, CDC It is recommended to wait to receive a booster until symptoms have resolved and you have finished isolation. People who test positive but never show symptoms can get their booster as soon as they have completed their isolation period. (you can read the current guidelines But how long to separate CDC website, Guidelines vary depending on your symptoms, vaccination status, and job.)
It takes about 2 weeks to recover from a COVID-19 infection, except for hospitalized patients, said Dr., chief of the department of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital in New York. Sharon Nachman told Live Science. She says to wait at least two weeks for symptoms to resolve because breaking the isolation can infect other people. Additionally, because most people have a good immune response to the vaccine, which can make them feel sick, receiving the vaccine while actively infected can worsen symptoms and put more strain on your body.
“You want to make sure you have the best response possible to the vaccine,” said Dr. Erica Ann Johnson, chair of the Board of Infectious Diseases for the American Board of Internal Medicine and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Pharmaceutical School. “It’s not that it’s unsafe to give an mRNA vaccine before that. It’s just that you want to make sure you get the most effective response,” Johnson said.
Why is Omicron different?
Omicron differs from previous “anxiety forms” because it can more easily infect both those previously considered to be “fully vaccinated” and those infected with earlier versions of the coronavirus. Omicron accomplishes this feat because it contains a high number of mutations on the spike protein – a prime target for the body to neutralize. AntibodiesWhich prevents the corona virus from entering the cells. According to a study published on January 4, 2021 in the journal, at least 15 of these mutations occur at the site of the virus’s receptor binding domain, or spike protein, where the virus locks up and enters cells. room,
And in fact, recently published data The New England Journal of Medicine Show That These Mutations Actually Make Omicron Better At Avoiding It immune system, The study showed that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against hospitalization dropped from 93% against Omicron to 70% compared with Delta infections.
Another reason for a reduced immune response against Omicron is decreased immunity. A December 2021 study from Israel, also published in The New England Journal of Medicineshowed that the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases six months after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, making the vaccine’s immunity less protective against any coronavirus variant.
Why Boosting is Important
All of this means it’s important to get a booster to protect against Omicrons. A study published in Preprint Database medRxiv but not yet peer reviewed found that the two-dose mRNA vaccine did not provide any protection against infection with Omicron. But a week after the mRNA booster, the vaccine’s effectiveness increased to 37%, the research found.
Boosters enhance the immune response by helping antibodies better recognize multiple parts of the coronavirus. Recent research published in the journal room found that mRNA boosters stimulate the production of cross-reactive antibodies, or antibodies that bind well to both Omicron and earlier strains of the coronavirus. Johnson said that no matter which vaccine you started with, once you’re eligible it’s important to get a booster.
“People who have just taken the primary series are still at risk of infection with Omicron, although their infection may not be serious,” Johnson told Live Science. “But for people receiving a booster dose, it provides effective protection against omicron infection and of course against more serious disease.”
By January 11, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that in most cases, adults get a booster at least 5 months after full vaccination. (There are some differences depending on your age, whether or not you initially got the J&J shot and whether you are immunocompromised.) Both mRNA vaccines are preferred options for boosters. (You can read more about current recommendations here CDC’s COVID-19 Booster Shot Page,
Either way, being infected with Omicron isn’t a good reason to avoid getting Boosted, Johnson said.
“Vaccination with a booster dose is absolutely necessary to achieve the best protection possible,” Johnson said.
Originally published on Live Science.