Each week, OMRF Chief Medical Officer Dr. Judith James opens “Adam’s Journal” to answer a medical question from Adam Cohen, OMRF’s senior vice president & general counsel.
Several people close to me have recently come down with Covid-19. Happily, they’ve since recovered, but they’re now wondering if – and, if so, when – they should get one of the new booster shots.
Dr. James Prescribes
While those who have recovered from Covid-19 should have an immune response that protects them from reinfection, that response will fade over time. Consequently, even those who’ve been infected recently should get one of the new round of booster shots now available.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends delaying that booster until three months from the onset of their most recent infection. That recommendation is largely based on studies showing that an increased time between infection and vaccination may produce an improved immune response to vaccination.
From what we’ve seen in the past, I suspect that those who are young and healthy could stretch that delay of three months to four to six, while those who are older or who have risk factors for severe illness could consider vaccination as early as one month after infection.
The shot will help boost the protective response a person’s body has already made to infection. Also, because immune responses grow weaker as time passes following exposure to the virus that causes Covid-19, the booster should provide the body’s defenses with a sort of refresher that will render it better prepared if it encounters a strain of the virus at some later point.
Even though it’s been more than three years since the virus emerged, we continue to study and learn about it at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and throughout the biomedical research community. But one thing we’ve learned is that our own behavior plays a major role in our risk of getting sick.
Along those lines, I’d offer some simple advice: The best time to get your booster is whenever you are willing and able to get it.
Do you have a health query for Dr. James? Email email@example.com and your question may be answered in a future column!