Second COVID-19 booster recommended for individuals 50 or older, immunocompromised

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations allowing people over the age of 50 and certain immunocompromised individuals to be eligible for a second booster of Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines.


Shivansh Ahuja

Syringes for the COVID-19 vaccine lay on a counter at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. The center received the Moderna vaccine for its employees.

Cooper Worth, News Reporter

People over the age of 50 and those who are immunocompromised can now get a second COVID-19 booster dose of two specific vaccines.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday. The guidance is only applicable to people who received an initial booster dose at least four months ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations in accordance with the FDA guidelines on the same day.

During the recent omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19 and seven times less likely to be hospitalized than those who were unvaccinated, according to the CDC.

Nearly 15 million people over the age of 65 in the U.S. are fully vaccinated but have yet to receive a first booster dose. Only about 40 percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 have received the first booster.

Sam Jarvis, Johnson County Public Health community health division manager, told the Johnson County Board of Supervisors that the county reported fewer than 70 COVID-19 cases in the past week during its work session Wednesday.

Johnson County reported nearly 2,600 cases between Jan. 12-19 of 2022.

Recent trends are showing that the county is at the safest it’s been in a while, Jarvis said.

“We do not want folks to rush out and feel anxious about getting their booster today, or feeling any anxiety with that,” he said. “Going into the summer with these trends, things are looking better.”

The number of reported cases in Johnson County has decreased 61 percent since the beginning of March 2022, according to The New York Times.

According to the CDC, a more contagious subvariant of omicron, known as BA.2, is now the most dominant strain of the virus among new reported U.S. cases.

An FDA panel will meet on April 6 to discuss what the nation’s booster strategy should be moving forward.