Seniors, immunocompromised, now eligible
UC Davis Health patients who are eligible can now schedule a vaccine appointment to receive an additional COVID shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized the use of another dose of the updated COVID vaccine for seniors over 65 and those who are immunocompromised.
We asked Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases, what we need to know about these vaccine recommendations.
Who is eligible for an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose?
Anyone who is over 65 years of age may receive an optional additional vaccine as long as it has been at least four months since the first updated COVID vaccine.
Also, those over 6 years of age who are immunocompromised may receive an optional additional dose as long as it has been at least two months since the last updated COVID vaccine.
What should people consider given the new booster recommendation?
People should consider the rate of COVID-19 transmission in the community, their risk of exposure related to their activities and household contacts, and also their risk of severe disease — their age and degree of immunocompromise, if present.
For example, with current low rates of community exposure, a healthy 65 year old may opt not to get an additional dose of vaccine; whereas a 90 year old with several underlying conditions that put them at risk for more severe disease (or who are immunocompromised) may opt for the additional dose.
How much time should you allow between COVID infection and the new booster?
In general, people with recent COVID-19 infection should delay the additional dose by three months from symptom onset, or from positive test if the infection was asymptomatic.
Which shots are eligible?
The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are recommended for additional doses.
Is this the same COVID vaccine that was offered last fall?
Yes, this is the same shot.
Will this vaccine protect against the latest variants like XBB.1.16?
Since XBB.1.16 is relatively new, we don’t have data yet for how effective the vaccine is for this variant; it’s just too early to know this. We do know that the vaccine provides protection against XBB.1.5 which is closely related to XBB.1.16, so we expect protection against XBB.1.16.
To schedule COVID vaccine appointments, visit our UC Davis Health website.