All You Need To Know About COVID 19 Vaccinations And The Omicron Variant
Published On Apr 15, 2022
The available COVID-19 vaccines are effective against most variants of the virus, including the Delta variant. However, variants may still cause illness in some people who are vaccinated. The Omicron variant, for example, is more infectious than the Delta variant and may cause breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated. Booster doses are important in helping lower the risk of a breakthrough infection.
Vaccination Series For Most People
Most people will receive a 2-dose series of the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by a third dose (a booster dose) to ensure full vaccination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of “mix and match” booster doses in October 2021, and this was approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For example, someone who received the initial vaccination series with the Moderna vaccine could receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Pfizer-BioNTech. the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has received full FDA approval for the vaccine in people 16 and older and emergency use authorization in people between 5 and 16 years of age. It is an mRNA vaccine administered in 2 doses, 3 weeks apart, with a booster dose 5 months after the second dose for people ages 12 and up. For people 50 and older, a second booster dose (a fourth total dose) can be given 4 months after the first booster dose.
Moderna. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for use in people 18 years of age and older. It is an mRNA vaccine administered in 2 doses, 1 month apart, with a booster dose at least 5 months after the second dose. For people 50 and older, a second booster dose (a fourth total dose) can be given 4 months after the first booster dose.
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen. The Janssen vaccine is given in 1 dose and is authorized for individuals 18 and older. A booster dose of this vaccine should be given to adults 18 and older at least 2 months after the first dose. The CDC recommends that people who received the Janssen vaccine should consider a booster dose of either Pfizer or Moderna instead, because they are preferred for their effectiveness.
The safest approach, especially if you are considered high risk and if you are not vaccinated, is to continue living as if the stay-at-home restrictions are still in place. If you have been vaccinated, it is now possible to ease back into social events. But if you are in an area of high COVID-19 transmission, wearing a mask indoors is recommended.