SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Nurse Practitioner Lisa Olson-Gugerty was caring for a patient who had recently tested positive for COVID-19. ‘I got all three shots, and I still got it,’ the patient told Olson-Gugerty on Sunday. ‘I’m never getting this again.’ ”
With the new BA.2 variant comes a new booster shot. Olson-Gugerty recommends treating this and future COVID-19 booster shots like any other vaccine or booster the population receives throughout our lifetimes, such as tetanus and whooping cough boosters or the flu vaccine.
“Lots of vaccines we give in multi-doses throughout our lifetime,” Olson-Gugerty said. “We’re rarely one and done. This is not a big deal, but people have responded quite negatively to this vaccine.”
Olson-Gugerty, who is also a public health professor at Syracuse University, doesn’t expect the rise and fall in cases to stop anytime soon without the use of widespread safety precautions.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it is allowing people 50 and older to get another booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as early as four months after their previous booster shot.
This announcement comes during another rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the five-county Central New York region. The county reports 250 people tested positive in one day.
“Once we started lowering our restrictions, in parallel to the recognition of the BA.2 variant, our cases are going back up,” Olson-Gugerty said. “It’s back. It’s coming back.”
She said that from her perspective working as a clinician in Oswego and Cayuga counties, she has watched the symptoms change significantly throughout the lifetime of coronavirus and its variants.
“It seems as though the symptoms are moving south, as I like to say,” Olson-Gugerty added. “Omicron gave us a lot of sore throats. Now, we’re getting a lot of abdominal discomforts like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not expected to officially recommend a second booster shot, but instead, recommend that shots be given to those who want them. Olson-Gugerty recommends all who are eligible get the second booster dose.
“I think it’s a disease that is endemic now,” she said. “It’s always going to present. We’re just going to have waves of it.”