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If You Have Only One Minute, Read This COVID Update

Important news about what to do can be overlooked.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

News about COVID-19 comes thick and fast. In the flurry of headlines and discussion, it can be hard to keep up. Sometimes, important news about what to do can be overlooked. Last week, the CDC made a crucial announcement about COVID protection that flew somewhat under the radar. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Don't Miss This Important Booster Update

Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially strengthened its recommendation on who should get a second COVID booster shot (or fourth vaccine dose overall). 

The agency now says that all people age 50 and over, and all people 12 or older who are immunocompromised, should get a second booster shot four months after their first. 

The reason: The vaccine's protection wears off over time. "Over the past month we have seen steady increases in cases, with a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans," the agency said on May 19. "While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death."

The agency added: "Whether it is your first booster, or your second, if you haven't had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one."


Who Else Should Get a Booster?

Female doctor or nurse giving shot or vaccine to a patient's shoulder. Vaccination and prevention against flu or virus pandemic.

Health experts have said the CDC may expand its recommendation on second boosters to all adults this fall, but that call hasn't been made yet.

As of now, these are the CDC's official recommendations on COVID boosters:

  • All people age 5 and older should get one booster shot after completing their primary vaccination series
  • All people age 50 and older should get a second booster
  • All people age 12 and older who are immunocompromised should get a second booster

If you're not sure whether you need a booster, the CDC has a tool on its website to help you make that determination. 


How to Stay Safe Out There


Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael