After FDA, CDC recommend 2nd booster local doc says "it’s to minimize deaths"

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Tuesday, the FDA authorized people 50 and over can get a second booster shot. So we ran this by the top infectious disease doctor at Rochester Regional Health.

Dr. Emil Lesho says it’s early in the process although late this afternoon the CDC updated its recommendations to say people 50 and over can get a second booster.

Brean: What is the debate right now?

Dr. Emil Lesho: The debate is what is the best timing? How effective will it be and who really needs it?

Dr. Lesho says if you are vaccinated and boosted and you had a recent covid infection, you probably don’t have to get a second booster urgently because you are protected.

Dr. Emil Lesho: However, if you’re elderly, if you have immune compromising illnesses, if you’re on chemotherapy or you’re a transplant patient, you have an immune deficiency, then it might be more of a consideration for you to get it.

Lesho says they’re seeing a rise in the flu and so anything that can minimize the number of people that end up in a hospital is reasonable.

In a statement, the director of FDA research said "current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals."

He said the data shows "a second booster dose could help increase protection levels" as long as it’s four months since your first booster.

Dr. Emil Lesho: The goal is to minimize severe cases, it’s to minimize deaths. That’s the ultimate goal.

The FDA based its authorization on a study of a second booster in Israel which showed no new safety concerns.

Dr. Emil Lesho thinks this is what it’s going to be like from now on. The choice to get another covid shot will be a decision between a patient and his or her doctor.