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Covid Confusion About Vaccines


With the latest variant of Covid spreading fast and patients concerned about Summer travel, I am getting a lot of questions about getting another Covid booster. Even though the illness from this variant seems to be mild, it has disrupted travel plans, life plans and no-one wants to catch Covid (the first time or AGAIN!). Should you get a booster now or wait until the one coming out in the fall?


The variant that is circulating now is XBB1.5. We are mainly tracking it in groundwater as reporting for Covid has dropped off and most people test at home and are never hospitalized. The symptoms are generally mild and most people in the US have been vaccinated at least once and many twice. A new Booster shot is coming this fall, made by both Moderna and Pfizer.


The booster we have now is not very effective against XBB1.5. The fall booster will be closer to the variant and will be a better match for the circulating sub variants.


Take home summary is: If you have had the vaccine before, you can wait for Fall for the new one to be available. Masks work- wear them in crowded places and public transportation.


HERES A FEW MORE TIPS FOR COVID in case you wondered.



1. Very few private insurances are covering at home tests. Your FSA (flexible savings account) or HSA (health savings account) can be used to cover the cost. Make sure you have a couple at home. Your antigen tests should last for 2 years and maybe even longer than what is on the label. But don't leave them in your car or in the sun.


2. When testing, swab both your throat and then your nose (same swab) for more accurate results. A very bold line says you are quite contagious.


3. Positive is positive. Isolate for 5 days (day 1 is when you first developed symptoms). Masks at home were effective in reducing transmission to family members by 67%. Not sharing a bedroom reduced transmission

risk by 78%. Wear a mask for a few days after. You don't need a mask to walk your dog or get the mail.


4. When was I infected? About 48 hours before your symptoms started.



5. If you are over 65-get Paxlovid within the first 5 days.

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