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Which COVID boosters to take and when: a guide for the perplexed

Recently FDA authorized updated COVID-19 booster shots targeting Omicron subvariants. Along with mRNA and protein vaccines based on the spike protein from the ancestral version of SARS-CoV-2, we now have options for new mRNA vaccines with spike sequences from both the ancestral virus and Omicron variants. The availability of these different choices has confused people on which vaccines to take and when.

Scientists have gathered the information and tried to answer some of the questions like, what do we know about the recently authorized Omicron-specific versions of the COVID vaccine? Whether we should get a regular booster or the Omicron specific one, how long should we wait between the boosters, what happens if we get too many boosters etc. Since all these questions are hard and would require more time to get clear answers, scientists think the decision should be at a personal level based on their individual risk for severe diseases, infection rate in their community, how stringent protective measures they can follow etc. Although there are not any reports of harm by receiving a COVID-19 booster sooner, researchers suggest for waiting at least four months between doses as getting sooner would have little or no benefit.

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