CDC Recommends Covid Booster Shots for People at Higher Risk this Spring

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that individuals more susceptible to severe Covid complications, especially those aged 65 and above, should receive a booster shot in the coming months. The recommendation was made in anticipation of another potential increase in illness during the summer season. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices further supported the idea of administering an extra dose to enhance protection against the virus.

The CDC has noticed a pattern over the last four years where there are both winter and summer peaks in Covid cases, reaching the highest numbers in January and August, respectively. This contrasts with the flu season, which typically peaks during winter months. CDC epidemiologist Megan Wallace mentioned during a meeting that they hope to eventually reach a point where Covid follows a clear seasonal pattern like the flu but indicated that this is not the current situation. The interval for the additional dose is recommended to be at least three to four months after a previous shot, depending on the individual's health status or Covid history, which may vary for those with compromised immune systems.

Health officials highlighted the significance of vaccination, particularly for the vulnerable elderly population, in light of the ongoing Covid-19 concerns. The spring booster shot will be the same one approved last fall, targeting the XBB.1.5 subvariant, which is effective against the JN.1 subvariant responsible for over 96% of new Covid infections in the U.S. Recent data presented by the advisory committee indicated that the booster shot reduced the chances of hospitalization due to Covid by up to 54% for otherwise healthy individuals aged 65 and older. The CDC plans to release more comprehensive research findings on this matter on Thursday.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09