Céline Gounder, MD explains how COVID-19 boosters help to keep protection levels up in your immune system.
We need a COVID-19 booster because we are seeing a waning of immunity over time, particularly with the emergence of variants that can partially bypass your immune system. By giving you a booster dose of COVID vaccine, we’re essentially topping off your immunity so that you can still fight off those new Omicron sub-variants and other emerging variants.
The fact that you need a booster dose of vaccine does not mean vaccines don’t work. It’s really a race between your immune system, how the vaccine is priming your immune system, and how quickly the virus is mutating and spreading.
The main purpose of a booster dose of vaccine is to shore up your immunity against severe disease, hospitalization, and death. And particularly among people over the age of 50 who have chronic medical conditions, we have seen an increased risk of hospitalization and death.
You can get a booster dose at your primary care provider’s office. Most community health centers will be offering vaccinations, hospitals that have outpatient centers, as well as pharmacies, like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.