How to Time Your COVID Booster

Experts weigh in on when to get a COVID-19 booster shot

(RxWiki News) Should you get your COVID-19 booster now or wait? There's plenty of confusion surrounding this topic.

And that's for a good reason. There are several situations in which you might find yourself wondering whether the general recommendations about COVID-19 boosters apply specifically to you.

The most important thing to note is that your health care provider can always weigh in on your unique situation to give you actual tailored health advice. Reach out to your health care provider if you have questions.

In the meantime, we can begin with the general recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends that you get your booster shot at least five months after completing a two-dose vaccine series or two months after completing the one-shot vaccine.

But what if you were one of the countless people who were recently infected in the Omicron wave that hit the United States and most parts of the world? Should you still get your booster, or are you already protected by natural immunity from having been sick?

According to experts recently interviewed for Medscape Pharmacists, the answer can be a little unclear. But the important thing to know is that natural infection does not produce the same level of immunity in all cases. Some people get very little immunity from an infection, while others may get a lot of protection.

Some theories suggest that this might have something to do with the severity of the infection or the particular variant of COVID-19 you're infected with, but further research would need to confirm those theories.

In the end, it's best to either follow the CDC guidelines or reach out to your doctor for advice, regardless of whether you have been infected recently.

If your immune system is weakened in some way — such as due to an ongoing illness — it's essential to speak with your doctor about your vaccination and boosting schedule. You may be better protected with a different timeline or number of shots, but only your doctor can answer that question.

Review Date: 
February 28, 2022