‘Not out of the woods yet,’ Doctors Urge COVID-19 Booster Shots
While life is seemingly back to normal since the pandemic hit in 2020, experts say we’re not out of the woods just yet.
“With COVID in Minnesota, and in most parts of the U.S. right now, we’re seeing pretty steady case rates of COVID infection,” said Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, an internist and pediatrician with Hennepin Healthcare.
With COVID-19 still spreading — albeit with fewer people ending up in the hospital or getting critically ill — she’s urging everyone who’s eligible to get the new booster shot that rolled out this week.
“The version of the coronavirus that’s spreading in the world now has changed significantly,” Dr. Lichtsinn said. “So the vaccine that we’ve all had offers some protection against the omicron variants that we see now, but not great protection.”
This new vaccine is designed to offer that protection against the Omicron variants.
The Pfizer version recommended for people ages 12 and older, while the Moderna booster is for people 18 and up.
“The people I would want to reach out to the most are the people who think they’re safe, right? So younger adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s without health issues,” Dr. Lichtsinn said.
She singles out that particular group, not because they risk getting critically ill, but because of what could happen long term.
“Some of those longer-term consequences from the infection that can lead to increased rates of heart disease and cognitive decline and blood clots and strokes and so,” Dr. Lichtsinn said. “It’s really important that people who are otherwise healthy still go out and get this vaccine.”