CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Now that federal health officials have authorized an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for people 50 and older, many are wondering whether they should go ahead and get it, whether they should wait — or if it’s really necessary.
CBS 17 took those questions to UNC infectious disease expert, Dr. David Wohl.
Dr. Wohl said he understands why some people aren’t sure what to do about the additional booster.
“There’s this whole strategy game,” he said. “Should I take something now versus should I wait to see if there’s something more specific, or should I wait even if there isn’t something more specific but to prepare me better for let’s say a winter wave?”
Wohl said he’s going ahead and getting his fourth dose and recommends others who are eligible do the same, due to the possibility of a spring or summer surge, the growing prevalence of the more-contagious BA.2 subvariant, and the risk of waning immunity.
“There’s been a spring surge or surge-let,” Wohl pointed out. “Remember delta (variant) came along in June, July, so you want to be ready for that, that is one reason. Second, BA.2 is much more catchy than previous viruses that we’ve been dealing with.”
Wohl also explained more about the reasoning.
“Number three: if you take a booster, and it’s a recent booster, it can protect you against omicron. If you haven’t had a vaccine for over six months, whether you had boosters or not boosters, you’re not as well protected.”
Vaccine boosters are currently authorized for people 50 and older if it’s been at least four months since their last shot.
While Wohl says he already feels well-protected against severe disease, due to his first three doses, he feels that the additional booster will increase his chances of avoiding infection.
“I’m just trying to put the odds in my favor,” Wohl said. “By getting vaccinated, I’ve got another arrow in my quiver.”