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Should I get an Omicron booster? Yes.

We’re excited: the FDA updated their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the updated bivalent COVID booster shot covering the BA.4 and BA.5 variants (in addition to the original strain) for anyone 6 months and above. Kinsa's epidemiologist hits a few FAQs.

First and foremost: Vaccination appointments are now available across the U.S. You can find a vaccine near you here

We wrote a piece on this last month (updated here if you’d like to revisit), but we want to highlight the top questions we’ve been hearing so you can take action now:

When should I get the shot? 

We recommend that everyone get a booster this fall. There’s no exact science as to precisely when you should get the shot, but our epidemiologists suggest the following guidance: 

  • If you have not had COVID or another booster in the last 3 months, we recommend that you schedule your Omicron booster ASAP. 
  • If you’ve had a recent COVID infection or booster, you can wait 3 months afterwards to get your shot. Studies show that in the period immediately following infection or a prior booster, a booster doesn’t add much benefit to your immune response. Waiting maximizes the protection from the infection/prior booster, and then allows the new booster to add to this protection. 
  • If you have not yet received your initial COVID vaccination, we recommend doing so ASAP. You must receive the initial series first before being eligible for the Omicron booster. 

Should I get my flu shot at the same time?

Yes! Save yourself a trip and protect yourself against the flu this season in one fell swoop. There’s a higher-than-usual chance that flu will be early and severe this year, so get that shot!  

If I felt crummy after previous COVID vaccines, should I expect to feel the same way?

As your immune system ramps up to build antibodies against the virus, you may experience symptoms like mild fever, fatigue, soreness, chills or headache. Generally, these disappear within a day or two of vaccination, and it means the vaccine is working! If possible, you can schedule your vaccine for when you know you can take it easy the following few days. 

Does it matter if I get Pfizer or Moderna? 

Nope! Whatever is more easily available to you. There’s some evidence that mixing and matching vaccine types (for example, getting an original Pfizer series and then a Moderna booster) may have a marginal benefit of protection, but not enough that we recommend going out of your way to mix and match.

Wherever you find yourself in the COVID vaccination process, we hope you're staying safe and healthy.