As of March 29, FDA and CDC has approved a second booster for “Healthy Adults 50 and Over” if four months after 1st booster dose (around Dec 1st or earlier). SCHEDULE NOW
As the Omicron variant wanes across the country, we are seeing health officials and employers embrace a new normal of living with a moderate spread of COVID-19 without masks or strict mandates.
Much like other cold and flu seasons, Omicron will not be the last dominant variant we encounter, and we are likely to see some other SARS-CoV-2 waves in the fall and possibly earlier.
In fact, the more contagious BA.2 version of omicron is now the most common COVID strain in the U.S. — making up almost 55% of infections, the CDC says.
This brings up the question: Do I need a 4th COVID-19 vaccine shot, and when?
As of late on March 29, 2022, FDA and CDC has approved a second booster for “Healthy Adults 50 and Over” if four months after 1st booster dose (around Dec 1st or earlier).
When do we need a 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose?
While there is still limited research, the CEO of Pfizer stated last week that a 4th dose is “absolutely needed”.
A trial with the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines found that a fourth dose provided a modest boost in protection against Omicron and restored antibodies to levels seen right after the third dose.
Four doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 30% more protective against infection than three doses. This extra protection was 11% for Moderna’s vaccine.
Pfizer submited data to the Food and Drug Administration for a fourth COVID shot. As of March 29, FDA and CDC has approved a second booster for “Healthy Adults 50 and Over.”
However, the study found that this did not translate into significantly increased effectiveness and did not prevent infection with Omicron.
“We’re starting to see now diminishing returns on the number of additional doses,” said John Wherry, director of the Institute for immunology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Although people over 65 or at high risk of illness may benefit from a fourth vaccine dose, it may be unnecessary for most people.”
According to the FDA and CDC approval, experts recommend to get a second booster shot 4 months after getting the 1st booster.
But we also can’t have vaccines every four to six months.
Therefore, Pfizer is also working on a vaccine that prevents infection, hospitalizations and severe cases of the virus, adding that making long-lasting vaccines is a priority.
What can employers do today to protect employees?
As we learn to live with COVID-19, employers must be prepared for future variant waves. But how?
A COVID-19 “Return to Work Plan” is more important than ever. While these plans started with pre-shift temperature screening and preventative COVID tests, the plans must be updated to the new normal tailored to your company.
At CNS Occupational Medicine, we offer services to contribute to your company’s Return-to-Work Plan, including:
- Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines and boosters
- COVID-19 PCR Tests (99.9% accuracy, 24-48 hour turnaround)
- Rapid Antigen Testing
- Pre-hire and pre-shift screenings
- Pre-employment DOT Physicals and HAZWOPER Physicals
- Audiometric testing
- Respiratory/Spirometry Physicals
- Drug and alcohol testing programs
- OSHA compliant services
- Flu Vaccinations
- and more
Start your customized health plan to meet your business needs and keep your employees healthy and safe.