Good Question: What’s the guidance on booster shots with the new COVID subvariant?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — What’s the guidance for the new COVID-19 subvariant?

The variant has been dubbed Arcturus and it’s similar to the other Omicron subvariants that came before it. The new variant prompted one of you to ask if the guidance around booster shots has changed.

What started as the original COVID became Delta, then Omicron. Now, there’s another subvariant called Arcturus. NBC News reports that Arcturus makes up nearly 10% of new COVID cases in the United States.

Arcturus was first detected in January. It’s very similar to its predecessor and most cases are outside of the country.

Jackie from Fairport writes: “My husband, 76, and I, 72, got the updated omicron booster September, 2022. Eight months have elapsed and the new Arcturus variant is spreading. Is it time to get another booster?”

The CDC says the updated COVID boosters became available on September second of last year. The CDC’s site says: “If you have received your updated booster dose, you are currently up to date. There is not a recommendation to get another updated booster dose.”

Just last week, the FDA and the CDC authorized a second dose of the updated COVID booster for people 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.

So, since Jackie and her husband got their updated boosters in September, they don’t have to get a second dose right now, but it is available to them if they want it.

You should always talk with your personal doctor before getting any shots or boosters. The FDA says that the Pfizer and Moderna updated boosters are available to people at least four months after their last doses.

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