Second Booster Shot Gets Green Light | News Live at 6
By John Perik
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The second round of COVID-19 booster shots received the green light on Tuesday from public health officials. The new shot will first be available for people over the age of 50 and will likely be available in pharmacies beginning next week.
For groups over the age of 65, and people who are considered “high risk” over the age of 50, officials at the CDC recommend receiving a second booster shot as quickly as possible. This comes as the highly transmissible omicron subvariant is now the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S. Over 55% of new infections in the U.S. have risen from the new subvariant, according to the CDC. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recommended all vaccinated eligible people receive the second booster.
“During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7-times less likely to be hospitalized,” Walensky said. “Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster four months after their prior dose to increase their protection further.”
All people 12 and older are eligible for their first booster shot five months after their initial vaccine series if they received an mRNA vaccine such as the Pfizer or Moderna shots or two months after getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
There is limited U.S. data on second booster shots, but data from Israel indicates the second booster shows positive results, especially in limiting the risk of death for people over the age of 60. Israel, Sweden and Chile already offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccination.
Officials in Israel said they struggled to convince people to receive a second booster shot, as COVID-19 cases have declined and hospitalizations remain low. Many people have experienced “a lack of urgency and have a reduced fear of disease,” experts said.
There is no timetable on when the second booster shot will become available for people under 50. The CDC said they plan to meet next Wednesday to continue evaluating further vaccine distribution plans.
COVID-19 cases have remained on the low at Syracuse University and throughout Onondaga County. There are 66 active cases on campus, according to the Syracuse University COVID-19 Dashboard., Syracuse University has changed its masking status twice in the last two months. The campus is currently in code yellow, meaning unvaccinated students are required to wear masks in classrooms and academic buildings while it is highly recommended but not required for vaccinated students to wear masks during academic instruction.