If you never got a Covid booster, get one now: experts say
Covid cases and hospitalizations are ticking up slightly in Washington state and King County, so people are wondering if they should run out and get another Covid shot.
Experts say some people should consider it: anyone who didn’t get last fall’s booster, and anyone who is over 65 or immunocompromised and didn’t get two of last fall’s shots.
“I would encourage them to get it,” said Shireesha Dhanireddy, an infectious disease doctor and professor at UW Medicine.
Her advice to doctors is that, if a patient didn’t get one of the Covid shots that came out last fall, they should give it to them now.
“If you have someone in your clinic that hasn’t been vaccinated, this is an opportunity to vaccinate them,” she said. “It’s been a year since that’s been out, and this person is finally interested in getting a vaccine — let’s just do it.”
King County’s public health agency agrees with her.
“The reality is that we really don't know when the new vaccine will be available,” said Dr. Eric Chow, with the county public health agency. “We have the current vaccine now, which continues to provide protection against severe disease and possibly longer-term complications.”
Given that cases and hospitalizations are increasing locally for the first time this calendar year, he said, “Why not go ahead and get updated with the recommended vaccines?”
But this story comes with an asterisk: Other experts think it’s OK for everyone to wait till the newest shots come out this fall.
Only one in four people in Washington state got last fall’s booster. In King County, the number was slightly higher: one in three. But still, a majority of people in the county and statewide never got their booster shot.
Dr. Dhanireddy said she hopes there’s more interest in this fall’s booster shots when they arrive.