Booster uptake jumps as omicron spurs some experts to rethink stance on 3rd doses

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The number of fully vaccinated adults who report getting a COVID-19 booster dose has more than doubled in the last month, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report released Dec. 2. 

In October, 10 percent of adults reported getting a booster, compared to 23 percent in November.

The finding comes as some health experts, once skeptical about the need for boosters, now reconsider their stance amid the omicron variant's emergence, The New York Times reported Dec. 1.

It's still unclear whether the omicron variant spreads faster than previously circulating strains or if it can evade protection from vaccines. However, many experts who once said there was not enough scientific evidence to warrant boosters for all adults now believe the additional doses could be the best defense against the variant, which has dozens of new mutations. 

Celine Gounder, MD, an infectious disease specialist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in New York City, is one such expert who has shifted her stance on boosters.

"Based on what we know about the potential for immune evasion, I would err on the side of giving the booster," she told the Times.

California reported the nation's first omicron case Dec. 1, two days after the CDC strengthened its stance on boosters, saying all eligible adults should get them.



 

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