If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
You probably need an Omicron booster - anyone 12 years and up should go get one to better protect them this fall and winter. Much like the flu shot, COVID vaccines take some time to ramp up to full protection and then that protection wanes over time. Some people are questioning whether to delay their booster doses for a few weeks or months to extend their coverage further into the winter. Doing so, however, puts you at higher risk in the short term. Our general advice is to get boosted as soon as possible, especially since we don’t know exactly when the CDC will recommend the next booster. Staying on track and ensuring that you’re up to date on boosters will make this process easier to track moving forward, as well.
If you’ve had COVID in the past two months, it may be best to wait 2-3 months before you get the new booster (but follow your doctor’s advice). It’s not because there’s any danger, but because you’re already very well protected from natural immunity caused by the virus. By delaying 2-3 months, you extend the period of time that you’re best protected against the disease. If you are immunocompromised or at high-risk, you should discuss with your doctor.
Although they can be given at the same time, earlier today the CDC recommended that some people - particularly young men - may consider delaying the COVID vaccine for a few weeks after they get the Jynneos (Orthopox/Monkeypox) vaccine. That decision should be based on conversations with the person’s primary care provider or an infectious disease specialist, and is primarily because both vaccines have a rare risk of myocarditis which may be higher if both are taken together. They still can be taken together, but some people may prefer to delay their booster dose after their MPX vaccine to reduce the risk. If you’re a young man eligible for both the MPX and booster vaccines, you should discuss with your doctor.
You should double check with the person administering your shot that it’s the “bivalent” vaccine. The term “bivalent” means it covers two strains of virus, including the new Omicron variant. The shots don’t feel any different than prior boosters or initial doses so you won’t be able to physically tell the difference. Vaccinators have been instructed to switch to the bivalent vaccine for boosters immediately after they receive it, and most are no longer giving the older vaccine as boosters. They have been told to hang on to their initial stock of original shots for anyone who hasn’t yet had their primary dose. As long as you are getting the new bivalent booster, that’s the correct shot.