When to get Omicron booster?
September 21, 2022 2:39 PM   Subscribe

I had my 4th Moderna shot (2nd booster) in July and have been pondering the timing of getting the Omicron booster. I've heard some people wanting to wait until the holidays, like November, in time for family gatherings and such, but then I heard some official on TV urging people to get their boosters by Halloween so they have full protection for the winter surge. So, when are folks planning to get it? Or have you already?
posted by thelasttango to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I (over 55) got it yesterday; last one was mid-April. My doctor urged me to get it now. Didn’t seem to be much percentage to me in waiting, but then again I’m Jewish and have family gatherings for the holidays coming up.
posted by holborne at 2:43 PM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I did mine already. The projections I have seen figure 20 weeks-ish of viable protection, so that should carry me through the holidays.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:43 PM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I got mine at the beginning of September because I work in education and have a young child, so my highest risk time is not the holidays but the beginning of the academic year.

This question is a little chat-filtery, we all have different risk levels and needs. Are you asking how to assess your own factors?
posted by epanalepsis at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2022

I got mine a week ago, first chance I got. Maybe I’m being idealistic, but I figure the sooner/more people get the new shot, the better the odds of Omicron losing steam.
posted by armeowda at 2:54 PM on September 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

Yeah I'm officially not overthinking these things. I'm getting all my shots at the first available option to get them, and keeping all my normal precautions in place. I got my bivalent booster and my quadrivalent flu shot at the same time two weeks ago. That's six things! As soon as I could! Neat for the novelty if nothing else.

Anyway, everyone's situation is different, but for me I've just been getting my shots as soon as I could, every time, and covid still hasn't found me.
posted by phunniemee at 2:59 PM on September 21, 2022 [11 favorites]

Most sources suggest the best immunological response is achieved when you are at least 3-4 or even 6 months out from your last infection or vaccination, though there isn't much hard data on this. So I would aim for October or November in your case. Getting the Omicron booster is valuable due to the better match to circulating strains, so waiting six months would be unwise, but waiting 3-4 months is likely to give you the best protection. A couple weeks before Thanksgiving would be smart, if you'll be taking more risks then.

I had mine in July as well and plan to get a 5th shot in October or November (if they'll let me, here in British Columbia).
posted by ssg at 3:21 PM on September 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

I found this post very helpful.
posted by rhymedirective at 3:30 PM on September 21, 2022 [6 favorites]

American/Vermont, 56, no health issues. Had my last booster in June before a trip to UK. Had my bivalent jab on Monday.

Heard on NPR this afternoon (Show: 1A), that anytime after 3 months from last booster is fine.
posted by terrapin at 3:59 PM on September 21, 2022

I hadn't gotten a shot since early October 2021 (not eligible for 4th booster), so it'd been 11 months since I'd had any protection. I ran and got the updated booster literally ASAP. Also, my work requires the shots and they started mildly penalizing people this week for not having gotten their shots already, so I don't have the option of "wait until October."

Look, sick is sick and you can catch it any time. We don't get immunity from boosters. You could get sick between now and Halloween or whenever if you wait. You might as well boost now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:07 PM on September 21, 2022

Likewise was not eligible for a 4th booster until the bivalent one became available, so I got mine last week. I have also been getting every shot as soon as it became available to me, I don’t see any point in gamifying it all and would prefer to have the best chance of not getting sick basically at all times.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 4:53 PM on September 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

There was a thing in the Washington Post today that said two months after your last shot, or three months after symptom onset if you were recently infected. That’s consistent with the Your Local Epidemiologist link, except she also includes the guidance about getting boosted two weeks before a big event like wedding, travel, or whatever.

Three months for me is the week before both my birthday and Thanksgiving, so I guess I might get my booster a week early just to protect those two events.
posted by fedward at 5:05 PM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I tried to have it last Friday, the first local appointment that I could find, but CVS canceled it via text at short notice because of shortages. I’m going Sunday instead. It’s peculiar how spotty the availability is.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:20 PM on September 21, 2022

I’m 50 and have an appointment for my bivalent Covid vaccine on Friday. I’ll pick up the flu shot in October, which is when I usually get it.
posted by kimberussell at 5:34 PM on September 21, 2022

I got mine as soon as it was available. Individual needs will vary but in case it's useful some of my deciding factors were:
* I work at a university and the academic year start is prime season for every illness
* I have high risk factors, have never had covid to the best of my knowledge, and am nearly a year out from my last shot, so I didn't feel great about my immunity levels
* I have high risk loved ones I want to protect
* I don't go out much but when I do it's on public transit and masking is very low but coughing is very high
* I need to travel for a family medical situation in October and prioritized being as freshly protected as I can for that
* I won't be doing holiday travel so I don't care about being protected as much then
posted by Stacey at 6:00 PM on September 21, 2022

I got mine today. I had my last booster almost a year ago and have had COVID twice since then. I firmly believe the vaccine saved my life and will get all my shots as soon as they are offered. I've been working in person the whole pandemic and have immunocompromised family members so my risk tolerance is low.
posted by notjustthefish at 6:12 PM on September 21, 2022

I got mine last Thursday, because the school year starts tomorrow and I need to get the fatigue and side effects over with right away.
posted by yueliang at 6:29 PM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Got mine this past Saturday. I work in a public facing job, hardly anyone is still masking (I am) and my mom is in assisted living and I will do everything to minimize my risk of A) getting sick myself, and B) infecting her. I’m not going to play mind games with myself to try to time it—I want extra protection now.
posted by bookmammal at 7:53 PM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I got my fourth shot at the end of July and will probably not have access to the bivalent booster until the end of October at the earliest. If I can minimize my in-person activities, I might try to hold off until the end of November because I have travel planned in January and would like to make sure I'm still protected. I'm also hoping that Canada might have the BA4/5 shot here by then.
posted by rpfields at 8:07 PM on September 21, 2022

Hubby and I got ours on Monday. We're 100% Moderna, and this is the shot that gave us the worst side effects. (Still very glad we did it, though!). Doc said it was commonly reported to feel fatigued, sore, just sort of "bleh" , possibly even a fever, for a day or two. Got the jabs Monday morning, and by Monday evening I was super fatigued, and feeling sore all over. Got maybe an hour of sleep that night. Tuesday, woke up sore all over, lots of aches, hurt to put clothes on. Tired all day. Got a decent sleep Tuesday night, and felt mostly myself on Wednesday. Still a little fatigued, but that's probably catch-up from such a lousy Monday night. Was unpleasant, but absolutely worth it. Would suggest scheduling so that you can ride it out over your weekend, just in case.

As for timing, we got our 1st and 2nd Moderna earlier last year, and then our first booster as soon as the window opened for us in December. Since then, been waitin and waiting, but as healthy not-seniors, they never opened the window for us getting a 2nd booster, and no one would give us one. So, when the omicron bivalent option rolled out to everyone, we pounced on it and took the first appts we could get.

We got our updated flu shots in August. Earlier than I'd like, but there were so many supply issues last year, it was impossible to get a flu shot late last fall around here. With all the ongoing ripple effects from supply chain disruptions, etc. we're not focusing on perfect timing anymore, we'll take what we can, when we can, and be glad.
posted by xedrik at 7:35 AM on September 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

I am under 55 and my local Walgreens just started offering new boosters for kids like me, but my dumbass coworkers all exposed me to COVID last week so now I have to wait. Mine will be another Pfizer. Both my doctor and the pharmacist at my Walgreens staunchly reject the notion that you can do a booster and a flu shot at the same time so I'll get the latter separately.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 4:34 PM on September 22, 2022

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