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Minnesotans who qualify can get their second booster shot

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says it’s too soon to know how many Minnesotans are getting the second booster, since it’s only been available for a week.

MINNEAPOLIS — Should you get a second COVID booster? And when should you do it?

The advice from Abbott Northwestern Hospital infectious disease physician Dr. Frank Rhame echoes the stance Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says there are no known risks to the second booster — even for those who may need yet another dose this fall. Rhame says he agrees with the CDC that even though the vaccines do protect against serious illness, they lose their strength in a few months.

"I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of potential downside to this," said Rhame. "What we know is that the antibody level wanes over time, and the presumption is there that more vaccinations will help.”

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says it’s too soon to know how many Minnesotans are getting the second booster, since it’s only been available for a week, but Allina Health System says about 350 people a day are calling about the shots, and it will start giving them by appointment only Thursday. Rhame says that extra protection is wise as restrictions go away.­

“Even though it’s really quite comforting that we have fewer cases right now, it has been in the past that will turn around when people relax,” said Rhame.

That’s why the CDC says when you choose to get the second booster is a personal judgment call, saying some people may wait. But it says there’s no downside to additional boosters, which may mean a third one will come yet this year.

According to MDH, people who qualify for a second booster shot are:

  • People ages 50 years and older.
  • People ages 12-49 years who have certain immunocompromising conditions.
  • People 18 and older who received Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for their initial dose and booster dose.

The second booster shot should be given at least 4 months after the first booster and it should be either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about getting a second booster shot.

Visit the MDH website for more information about the second booster or to find locations where you can receive the second booster. People can also call Allina’s vaccine hotline, which is 612-262-5533. 

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