FDA Authorizes Second Booster for Adults 50 and Older

If it's been four months since your first booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and you are 50 or older, the FDA announced today you can get a second booster shot (WSJ, free link).

Under the authorization, the older adults can get the shots at least four months after a first booster dose. People will be able to choose between the two vaccines regardless of whether they earlier received a shot from Moderna or Pfizer.


Immunocompromised individuals under 50 will also be eligible:

n addition, the FDA cleared a second Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose for people 12 years old and up with weakened immune systems and who have received a first booster dose of any authorized Covid-19 vaccine. And the FDA also authorized a second Moderna booster for immunocompromised people 18 years old and above.

Why get a 4th shot?

Research has shown that protection from shots falls after several months. Studies also have shown that an additional dose can boost immune systems that have weakened months after initial vaccination, and is more likely to neutralize the Omicron variant than two doses.

Yet there is limited and somewhat mixed data showing how well a fourth dose works.

Better safe than sorry. I will get mine as soon as it's available.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Any thoughts on switching vaccines? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jmacWA on Tue Mar 29, 2022 at 03:04:20 PM EST
    It seems that you can get either vaccine, and I am wondering whether anyone has any experience or has seen anything regarding the advisability of switching to the other vaccine for the second booster

    Had Moderna (none / 0) (#2)
    by Coral on Tue Mar 29, 2022 at 03:13:30 PM EST
    considering getting Pfizer for 4th shot. Would love to know of any evidence for mixing shots.

    Stick with Moderna. Get second booster 6 months (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2022 at 09:48:10 PM EST
    after first booster.

    Coral, why are you considering (none / 0) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 29, 2022 at 03:30:14 PM EST
    switching horses in mid stream?

    Moderna seems to be slightly more effective (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 29, 2022 at 03:34:49 PM EST

    That's my understanding (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Coral on Tue Mar 29, 2022 at 04:06:30 PM EST
    I wish public statements by CDC and other experts weren't so confusing and vague. Mask mandates are pretty much gone and there is only so long you can refrain from socializing, eating out, going to concerts, etc.

    I want to go to Europe in the fall, and wondering how to time the 4th booster so protection doesn't wane too early.


    Good thinking, so (none / 0) (#6)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 29, 2022 at 04:56:40 PM EST
    why not wait until a month before you go across the pond.  My gf (ha) in Paris says it's still very dangerous there.  My second booster was last August, so I'm allegedly waned to the 10% level. After KeysDan's greatly appreciated words, I'm going in for my second Pfizer booster this week.  For you contemplating a trip to Europe I guess it matters when you got your first booster, your age and health status , and of course luck..  

    Just got my second Moderna booster (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2022 at 02:48:30 PM EST
    My first shot was the JJ, so this is actually only my 3rd shot. I thought about going with Pfizer for the trifecta, but stuck with the Moderna since the side effects were not bad with my first booster.  Worse come to worse I binge Bridgerton all day.

    I want to travel and go out and feel as safe as possible, especially now that mask and wax mandates are coming down for concerts and theaters.

    I checked with my doctor, who is young and smart (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 01, 2022 at 02:56:17 PM EST
    -- although not an academic -- and his view from reading the literature that is our there for family docs was that based on my two Pfizer shots and one Pfizer booster, I should consider getting a Moderna booster for a somewhat enhanced response. And that at 6 mos from my first booster, the timing was good to do it now.

    Good. That's what I decided (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Towanda on Tue Apr 12, 2022 at 11:47:37 PM EST
    that we would do: After three Pfizer shots, we went with Moderna for the second booster.

    Side effects of Moderna about the same, not much.


    Same here. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 14, 2022 at 08:49:16 PM EST
    I had two doses of Pfizer and a Pfizer first booster. Got second booster Moderna, on my doctor's recommendation. My wife did the converse: V1-M, V2-M, B1-M, B2-Pf.

    I just got boosted (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 01, 2022 at 03:04:04 PM EST
    I've been Moderna all the way

    Yesterday I got my second booster.. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by fishcamp on Wed Apr 13, 2022 at 11:47:35 AM EST
    I do my stuff at Walgreens and they only have Moderna, so I went with that even though all my previous Covid vaccinations were Pfizer.  The pharmacist said the Moderna vaccine was a half dose in comparison to Pfizer, which I think we all knew.  There are no side effects today and I don't have any pain in my arm either.  

    Moderna (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by FlJoe on Wed Apr 13, 2022 at 06:08:59 PM EST
    today for me, just a hint of pain in my arm.

    Pfizer and J&J boosters (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 14, 2022 at 11:32:53 AM EST
    have the same dosage as their original vaccines (30 micrograms in the case of Pfizer and 0.5 ml in the case of J&J).

    The Moderna booster is 50 micrograms per shot, which is half the dosage of its original 100-microgram vaccine.

    The difference in dosage also relates to the CDC recommendation for the immunocompromised --- for age 12+ Pfizer vaccine, for age 18+ Moderna.

    In documents submitted to the FDA's Vaccine Advisory Board, Moderna lowered its booster dosage to lessen the severity of its side effects and to increase its vaccine availability worldwide.

    As for mix and match, this is being left to individuals/their doctors.  However, practically, the choice will be that which is readily available.  

    With regard to seemingly confusing public health advisories and recommendations, they are "following the science", which is not always a straight line.  Rather, it may zig and zag in keeping with a learn as you go novel virus.


    My first Moderna booster (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 14, 2022 at 09:27:55 PM EST
    was full strength.  Because I got it before it was official.  A good bit before before the guideline. She told me it was a full shot.

    Not sure if that's good or bad.  


    Same (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 14, 2022 at 09:58:28 PM EST
    in my case.  The first booster of Moderna was, essentially, the third vaccination.  The second booster was the half dose of the initial.  I think it was all to the good.

    Site violator (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Sun May 29, 2022 at 09:46:15 AM EST
    Multiple places