Does the Booster Protect Against Omicron?
January 27, 2022
The question on everyone’s mind is, does the booster shot protect against the Omicron variant? Hackensack Meridian Health's chief physician executive, Daniel Varga, M.D. shares some insight.
Yes, the booster shot is effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including the Omicron variant.
“While we have seen more breakthrough infections with Omicron, we’re seeing that the booster dose definitely influences the severity of the infection,” adds Dr. Varga. “As of now at our hospitals, none of the patients who are on ventilators had a booster shot - 70% are unvaccinated, and 30% are vaccinated but no booster.”
“We’re at a time when many people are eligible for a booster but haven’t gotten one yet,” shares Dr. Varga. “Vaccine protection wanes over time, which is why getting a booster is so important.”
Why do I need a booster shot?
The booster shot will help reinvigorate your immune response to COVID-19, reminding your body on how to fight the virus.
“The first two shots in your primary series are like taking a self defense class, after a couple months, you may forget a few moves. The booster shot is like a crash course to remind you of everything you learned,” explains Dr. Varga. “COVID-19 is an attack on your body, and the vaccine and booster show your body how to fight off the virus.”
Which booster should I get?
“If you are eligible for a booster shot, and received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it’s recommended that you select one of the mRNA boosters, this will increase your immune protection,” adds Dr. Varga. “If you received either Pfizer or Moderna for your primary series, you can get either brand, however there’s no evidence that switching brands adds any additional protection.”
When should I get a booster?
“You can receive a booster shot five months after the completion of your primary series of the mRNA vaccine, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” shares Dr. Varga.
Next steps & resources:
- Meet our source: Daniel Varga, M.D.
- To make an appointment with a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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