Opinions on When to Get a Second Covid Booster (for those over 50)?

The problem being is that the effectiveness of the shot starts decaying–so one might be better off waiting until there is a big upswing in cases.

Given I’ve had two shots, a booster, an infection with Covid Mk.I and also (probably) omicron I figure my immunity is pretty damn good at this point, and I’m not even four months past my most recent covid infection, so I’m going to wait on a second booster.


If you’re really concerned consult a doctor who can consider your present health, any other conditions you may or may not have, and go from there.

Yeah, honestly this has been running through my head. I’m a little over 50 and got vaccinated the second I could. I also got my booster the second I could - 6 months to the day. It is now a little over four months on, I’m eligible and my first thought was to go out and get a shot immediately. But this time I’m hesitating, because maybe waiting a month or two makes more sense. So far the U.S. immune response to Omicron BA.2 seems fairly robust - cases and hospitalizations aren’t skyrocketing. But that might change in a week or three, I may still be reasonably protected by my booster and it might be better to wait and see if things start surging as we progress into Spring.

I’m definitely getting it at some point, but timing is causing a wee bit of analysis paralysis this time around.

I’m over 6 months out since my booster, and still working on the front lines, and I’m high risk, so I will be getting mine SOON.

Getting a ‘second’ booster (or as Dr. Michael Osterholm calls it, the first booster to a three dose vaccine) makes sense for people who are immunocompromised or those who are in a vocation likely to be exposed so as to reduce the symptoms from an almost inevitable exposure. However, it should be pointed out that even with the extremely infectious BA.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2, the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are people who are completely unvaccinated (regardless of prior exposure), never received the full sequence of mRNA vaccine doses, or are severely immunocompromised. Even though reinfections of BA.1 and BA.2 are becoming increasingly frequent regardless of vaccination and prior exposure, most infections of fully vaccinated people are ‘mild’ (i.e. not requiring hospitalization or treatment beyond a single dose of monoclonal antibodies). Interestingly, the J&J and some other adenovirus vaccines seem to be providing more enduring protection even though their initial efficacy was lower than the mRNA even without any kind of booster. I suspected that this would be the case but there is no way to prove it without long term trials which we are effectively getting in real time.

The impact of post-acute sequelae (a.k.a. ‘Long Covid’) are still unclear; the statistics seem to indicate that vaccination provides substantial reduction in severity and duration of effects but the overall tracking and reporting is so spotty that it is difficult to have a statistically reliable population. I’m still taking measures to avoid contracting the virus as much as possible (no airline travel or eating in poorly ventilated indoor spaces) but I’m going to wait another few months on the booster shot and see if a BA.2-specific boosgter isn’t in the offing.

Of course, who knows when a new variant will pop up that may completely escape the existing vaccination, making booster shots designed for the original “wild-type” virus irrelevant.


Here’s a recent Nature News report on the progress in studying long COVID: Can drugs reduce the risk of long COVID? What scientists know so far

The current best estimates are that vaccination reduces the risk of long COVID by about half in those infected post-vaccination, but as you point out, it has been hard to assemble the amount of data needed to nail it down.

50% reduction in risk of long COVID is a bit disappointing in light of the 10X sorts of reduction in risk of infection. But the drastic reduction in risk of infection offers its own barrier against long COVID in the vaccinated population, sdo that is some comfort.

Im half a year out and hoping to get on a plane this spring, so I had mine today.

Getting mine as soon as I get notified. See no upside in delaying. Out of the dozens of folks I’ve known had post booster covid, two had a pretty rough two weeks that I have no desire to go thru.

How long it takes to become fully effective?

Note that depending on your situation you might need to be proactive on this one. This one is less recommended for your everyday chap over 50, than it is “approved.” So it is possible you may need to seek it out yourself when you meet the eligibility requirements.

Fourth Moderna shot yesterday. In Moderna there was the option for the third shot to be a “third shot” or a “booster”, with “booster” being half strength, and I got a full strength “third shot”. My fourth shot yesterday could therefore be called my first “booster” after a 3 shot initial vaccination. For Pfizer and J&J there’s no strength distinction between shots.

I turn 65 in a couple months, have chronic respiratory disease, and take steroids sometimes.

Since a shot takes a week or two to come on in strength, and there are no guarantees about vaccine supplies and appointment availability, and it takes some time to detect a wave, I didn’t try to time this. I have done all these as soon as they were available. I had 5 months 2 days between yesterday and the previous shot.

I see my primary care doc in late April, and will ask about it (and hopefully receive one) at that point. I’ve debated seeking one sooner, as that visit is just a few days before we go on vacation, and it’ll hardly have had time to provide protection.

62, with several health issues that would make a dose of the 'Rona seem… inadvisable.

FWIW, Your Local Epidemiologist doesn’t recommend waiting for a wave.

Seattle Area Dopers. UW Medical Center will light up appointments tomorrow for the 2nd booster shot. I’ll be calling in the morning and hopefully next week get the quad poke

This is news to me. I was not given the option for the third shot to be a full dose. I would have taken them up on it if I had. I was about to turn 70 if age mattered. And a few health factors, being overweight the main cause.

I got my 2nd Moderna booster today, about 6 months after the first. I wasn’t gonna wait or try to “time the market” for a theoretical optimum time. In all of this, I worry about the “right now”. I’ll deal with down the road when and if the time comes.

Yeah, I’ve decided to go ahead and just get it done - scheduled for next Monday since I have to work the next seven days in a row. And THIS time I’m getting Moderna to supplement my previous Pfizer-Pfizer-Pfizer regime. Part of the attraction, really.

I had the option to get Pfizer or Moderna, and my previous regime was Moderna-Moderna-Moderna. Is it true that having vaccines from a variety of makers tends to enhance protection? I wound up doing a 4th Moderna, having read that they slightly outperform Pfizer, but I’m not at all sure that was best.

At age 73 and somewhat overweight (though I’ve shed 34 pounds over the last six months), I went ahead and got my second Moderna booster today; this despite masking faithfully in public spaces and leading a semi-hermit life. I’m not about to roll the dice on COVID despite the current low rates of new cases.

I think it’s true that it is possible that it might (farmed from the blog duality72 linked to above) :slight_smile: . Anyway, can’t hurt far as I’ve read and I sorta like the idea of putting my eggs in multiple baskets, particularly as in my case I did have Pfizer 3x and as you say it appears Moderna may be a tiny bit more persistent.

About two weeks.

I plan to travel memorial day weekend, so i plan to get boosted a little more than 2 weeks prior to leaving.