the coronavirus has become a tolerable threat, on par with the flu, and requires minimal precautions, if any
Roughly 300 people in the United States are still dying from Covid-related causes each day, a vast majority of them adults over 70 and people who are medically frail or have impaired immune systems. So should they get another booster shot now?
“I think it’s reasonable to boost immunocompromised people and people in nursing homes every six months,” Dr. Gounder said. “I do not think that annual boosters for everyone makes sense.”
Some Americans who got their latest boosters in the fall are asking their doctors when they should get the next dose. Britain and Canada have already recommended additional shots for older adults and immunocompromised people starting this spring.
It’s unclear whether the Food and Drug Administration will follow suit.
There is much less research on the effectiveness of the bivalent boosters that were released last fall, and there is no data on the ideal timing for the next round of additional vaccines.
The dearth of information leaves some experts hesitant to recommend another shot for any group of people, even the most vulnerable.
“Given the lack of data, I don’t think it’s fair to say to people, ‘Inject yourself with a biological agent,’” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an adviser to the F.D.A.
Just over 16 percent of Americans, and only 42 percent of adults over 65, have opted for the bivalent shots.