LANDSTUHL, Germany -- To keep the momentum moving in the right direction, people who are over 50, children ages 5 -11 and those who are immunocompromised should get a second COVID booster, according to Public Health Command Europe’s Chief of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance.
“The intent of the second booster is to provide better protection against developing severe COVID-19 illness for these more-at-risk populations before another potential COVID wave hits,” said Lt. Col. William Washington, Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Chief for PHCE. “Studies have shown that receiving a second booster significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death as compared to those who have received only one booster.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration, children ages 5 – 11 are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccine if it has been five months since the initial vaccine series.
“People who are 50 or over, and those who are immunocompromised are eligible to receive a second COVID-19 booster vaccine if it has been at least four months since the first booster dose,” said Washington. “Many conditions and medical treatments can cause a person to have a weakened immune system.”
People eligible for a second booster are:
• People 50 and older who are 4 months past receipt of their first Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen vaccination booster.
• Anyone who received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for both their primary dose and booster.
• People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised* can receive a 2nd booster of an mRNA vaccine (*Teens ages 12–17 years may only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster).
• Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Cases of moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
• Advanced or untreated HIV infection
• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response
Consult your healthcare provider about the COVID-19 booster if you believe you have medical condition that put you at an increased risk category, or visit the CDC website for more details: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.
Medical Treatment Facilities in Europe are currently offering second booster vaccines to their military communities. Contact your MTF for details.
According to Washington, recommendations for additional COVID-19 booster doses for healthy children and adults are expected this summer and fall.
The second booster, like all COVID-19 booster vaccinations, is being offered on a voluntary basis.