Though mask and vaccine mandates have been lifted in recent times, the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19 infection still emphasize the importance of:
● Wearing well-fitting masks or respirators when around other people
● Avoiding crowded areas
● Washing your hands thoroughly and often
● Isolating from others if you experience symptoms of COVID-19
● Ventilating your home and meeting others outdoors rather than indoors as much as possible
● Getting tested frequently for COVID-19 (many cases are asymptomatic)
● Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines
○ Everyone aged 6 months and older is recommended to receive at least the primary vaccinations (a full series of Pfizer, Moderna, or other FDA-approved vaccine)
○ Everyone aged 12 years and older, and those 5-11 years old who are eligible, are recommended to receive at least one (1) vaccine booster
○ Seniors (ages 65 and older) and the immunocompromised are considered especially vulnerable to COVID-19
A new “bivalent” booster shot intended to protect against the Omicron variants of COVID-19 was released this month (September 2022). At the moment, this second booster and fourth overall vaccine is recommended only to adults over 50 and the immunocompromised ages 12 and older. However, it is expected that the CDC and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will expand eligibility at some point in the future, as additional COVID-19 vaccines are proven to protect against COVID-19 or lessen the severity of cases.
The FDA’s official recommendation is to wait at least two months since your last booster to receive the next one. But several health experts suggest that waiting six months gives the next booster a greater chance of effectiveness, due to the protective antibodies from the previous booster having had time to wane and not dilute the effects of the new booster.
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