FAQ: New COVID Omicron Boosters

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New COVID boosters that target the fast-spreading Omicron strains of the virus are rolling out this week, with the CDC recommending these so-called bivalent mRNA shots for Americans 12 and older. Here's what to know:

There are no specific rules about a waiting period after COVID infection. But if you have been infected with the virus in the last 8 weeks, you may want to wait for 8 weeks to pass before receiving the bivalent booster to allow your immune system to get greater benefit from the shot.Yes. The bivalent vaccine has a lower dose of mRNA than the vaccines used in the primary series of vaccines, rolled out in late 2020.

Cellular-level data supports this, with studies showing the bivalent vaccines increase neutralizing antibodies to BA.4/BA.5 strains. Scientists regard these kinds of studies as surrogate stand-ins for People who are susceptible to severe complications from COVID -- such as older people, people with weakened immune systems, and those will chronic health conditions -- are also especially vulnerable to severe influenza complications.

 

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