2nd booster necessary?

I know we have some experts here and I’ve been following some Twitter folks recommended here in another thread that do seem to put out very reliable information. I’m seeing claims in some of the comments that after a few months we need a second booster to have a significant chance of warding off omicron? Israel seems to be pushing for a second booster for 60 and up.

It’s seems here in my neck of the woods quarantine requirements are just becoming less and less. You can return to work in hospital settings without a negative test five days after a positive one even if you still have mild symptoms. Meanwhile my whole school district is closed to students tomorrow due to staff and bus shortages. Teachers are still going in for revised Covid guidelines.

I have to admit I’m getting mixed signals. The anti-government in me wants to guess it has to do with money and not wanting massive closures again. Or is the CDC science behind this. Are you really only contagious for a few days around a positive test or when you have strong symptoms? I remember asymptomatic spread being a thing. Meaning people with no symptoms spreading it. How does that play into 5 days with no test? Or is that also only most transmissible shortly around infection?


Good questions. I know from other discussion groups that the medical community is pretty upset with the 5 day quarantine recommendation from the CDC, seeing it as endangering the public and the care givers. I think the recommendations are influenced by political pressure and economic reasons, but have some scientific basis as the Omicron variant seems less severe, and thus less of a threat to the breakdown of the medical infrastructure. Those who are going to get the vaccine have gotten it, and those who have not seem to be those who will never get it, so perhaps going to 5 days is seen as a stepping stone to where we will wind up when Covid becomes endemic, and hopefully more a “cold.”

The last I heard, the next booster would probably be recommended this fall, but with Covid, it seems all bets are off. It would be nice if the next booster was tweaked to better cover the dominant strain, but doubt that can happen in time for a fall booster.


Isn’t the medical infrastructure overloading in places now with little sign of abating? Or is this just a Christmas / New Year’s spike?

Id love to see data breaking down hospitalizations to omicron by unvaccinated, vaccinated and boostered. % of each being hospitalized with Covid. Then also break it down by chronological distance to how long ago you’ve been boostered /vaccinated. Maybe connect positivity rate to that as well. Would give me a good sense of whether or not even the booster is waning after a few months.

Most of the people I know are done with Covid. Though I am noticing a strong uptick on masks in the stories. We went to a wake today and it was about 50/50. We wore ours walking in but I took mine off to talk to people. Doesn’t feel right not talking “face to face” at a wake. I suppose that never will for me.


This is helpful to me. Thanks.

Carl Bergstrom was railing against the CDC recommendation on Twitter, but changed his tune after doing some modeling: https://twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/status/1479938654579544065



“Data, including a review of 113 studies from 17 countries, show that most SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of infection [2,3]. Infectiousness peaks around one day before symptom onset and declines within a week of symptom onset, with an average period of infectiousness and risk of transmission between 2-3 days before and 8 days after symptom onset [2,3]. These data are from studies of prior SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Delta.

What I put in bold is jumping off the screen at me. I’m not seeing that as wise. Basing a decision on studies involving previous variants?

But @glipsnort link seems to offer valid reasoning based on modeling:

Helps restore confidence at least. It would be nice if this stuff could be explained and made more transparent though.


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It is very confusing. Well said. But every time I read more, CDC has good reasons. No one is perfect.

One element of interest to me is our health system consistently recommends since the onset that we not order test of cure, because of lack of reliability and correlation with infectivity.

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So is it correct that the booster wanes significantly after 10 weeks in the case of protection against acquiring omicron but still is strong at preventing severe symptoms if you do get it? Trying to wrap my head around this stuff.

I assume we probably spends billions of dollars researching infectious diseases each year. I trust the CDC over an army of internet warriors without the appropriate training reading isolated peer-reviewed studies thinking they are now qualified experts in the field! But the timing of the reduction made most of our heads turn. Hospitals filling, positivity rate out of control, sanctions and mandates loosened, holiday gatherings in full effect and bam, reduction! It was a “wait what?” moment.



Not all you wanted but here is data from one hospital system in Pennsylvania:

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It’s also not like there is no delta around anymore. Reported Friday :

The delta variant continues to spread at high levels in Lancaster County and impacts the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Lincoln has Two More Deaths from COVID-19 – City of Lincoln, NE

Well for what it is worth. Here in the UK, we’ve got roughly ~31m who are double vaccinated and had a booster (including myself). However, the jury is out as to whether that is enough to reign in Omicron which is currently running riot.

For example, we had 180k new cases on 4th January and some estimates suggest that as many as 1 in 4 Londoners have Covid. An additional piece of anecdotal evidence, one of my wife’s colleagues recent caught Covid, 8 weeks after his previous infection even though he is double vaxxed and had the booster.

I got covid fairly early on. Barely had any symptoms. When the vaccine came out I went and got it and the second shot made me fairly sick for a few days. First shot had zero affect. But then a few weeks later , maybe close to two months later I felt sick for a day and got tested again because it’s rules for the HOA I was working in. I had covid again. Was only a little sick a day or two. I’ll continue to avoid eating in restaurants or going to movies. I’ll probably not get the booster shot. If being fully vaccinated and having covid twice while always wearing a mask and social distancing still resulted in me getting sick by far the worse and longest becsuse of the shot I have no reason to get the booster. I’ll continue wearing a mask and social distance until spring. At spring regardless of what is recommended I’ll ignoring it and going back to my normal life and I’ll eat out, hang out with friends and go back to enjoying horror conventions and so on. Plus where I am in alabama and florida most of the people have ignored the whole thing the whole time. There has always been way more people not obeying than there was obeying and so I don’t worry about if some person gets it and dies anymore. A friend who has also been obeying everything the whole time and who has a good work ethics got a booster shot and was sick for like a whole week throwing up. Maybe in early spring when it’s warmer again and in the 80s I may get the booster shot and see what happens. I’m not skeptical of science and I support vaccines and I understand as more data comes in they get a better idea but to be honest it seems like they have almost no idea what’s going on. Almost every prediction they made has been wrong. I remember when they said if you get covid you’re natural immunity will be better and you won’t need a vaccine. Or if you get a vaccine you’ll be better off. Yet seems to not make any difference really. With it without the vaccine many people have been asymptomatic anyways. So the whole “ vaccine lessens the symptoms” is not really provable. They said it would probably not mutate. It’s done mutated a bunch. It started off with boosters won’t be be needed. No they are.

I’m past caring anymore. I’ve had a flu shot twice my whole life. I’ve only caught the flu once and it was after getting a flu shot. It’s kind of turning into if I’m going to seemingly get sicker longer because of a vaccine than the actual virus what exactly is the point.

But I may or may not get the booster but come spring if it’s not mandatory then I’m not obeying it regardless of what rhe CDC recommends since it seems even now others are disagreeing with them.

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I’m sure they (we) would all like to be. But the real question is: Is Covid done with us?

That’s the only question that counts.


The answer might be different for those with boosters and those without.

I’ll be getting my second boost as soon as I can. I completely understand people feeling done with Covid. But my immune suppressed wife makes the decision easier to go on staying on the safer end of precautions. If it were just me I’d be more likely to just trust my enhanced immune system to handle any break through infection and start living life a little more freely.

I notice many more people masking than not lately near me. I’d stopped masking while walking the dogs. But at large parks with busy trails I’m putting it on again whenever people get get bunched together. Wherever I can walk across fields instead of on pathways I take it off. I used to think being outdoors was enough. Now I’m paying more attention to actual distances. Indoors I’m using N95’s but I still prefer surgical masks when active outdoors as they still work best for not fogging my glasses. We’ve neither one ever tested positive and have gotten almost no flus or colds either. None of the vaccines I’ve gotten have ever done more than make my arm sore, and rarely that.

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I can’t speak to COVID specifically, but I can speak to immunology in general.

When you are exposed to a pathogen or vaccine you will get a big spike in circulating antibodies (i.e. antibodies in your bloodstream). However, those antibodies start to disappear after awhile, so you lose your first line of defense. You will still have immune cells ready to go into action when exposed to the same challenge, but there is still a lag between infection and response, so you may have symptoms in the meantime. A booster will up your circulating antibodies and hopefully prevent an infection from getting worse during that lag period.

Again, this is a very general explanation of how the immune system works. Every infection is going to be a bit different, and each person’s immune system is different. If there is any truism in biology it is that there are no statements that are 100% true. However, if the vaccine does not pose any health risks and it has been a while since you have been infected or inoculated, you are almost guaranteed to be better off by getting one than not.


that’s it in a nutshell.
My antibody levels following the 1st and second vaccine shot where fairly poor (astra zeneka) but following the pfizer boost increasd about 80 fold (as tested by suppression of spike recognition in an anti spike asay).

Response is variable between people and vaccines, so if they want to make an exception for Djokovic they could have just checked it he had antibody levels in sufficient quantity. He was still doing unmasked public engagements the day after having tested positive and caused a couple of people to catch the infection in 2020 in events he organised that did not follow social distancing, so he clearly is not following Covid guidelines - but who would tell the God of Tennis what to do :slight_smile:

I’m boosted, but there are still children to protect and there is still delta around, not to mention the frequency of breakthrough infections and the likelihood of another of another variant. Done with COVID? Hardly. That’s wishful thinking.

My wife and I are ‘elderly’ and I have only one kidney, so if another booster is scientifically recommended, we will certainly expect to get one.

Wow, @LM77, I didn’t realize it was that high in the UK, though I saw a lot on BBC.
I agree-- I’ll boost if they recommend it. I admit that the changes are kind of dizzying in the recommendations. I am glad that the WHO and CDC are making those decisions, and not me.

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