“People that are vaccinated really are doing very well in terms of hospitalization,” said Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University in New York. Omicron made it clear that the goal of preventing all infections was futile, he stated.
Regular boosters might be an option if vaccines have prevented the spread of the virus. “But with Omicron, what’s the point?” Dr. Nussenzweig said. “The endgame is keeping people out of the hospital.”
Last fall, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top pandemic adviser, repeatedly spoke of the importance of preventing symptomatic infections. He has been stating that it is hospitalizations which really matter in recent days.
In order to prevent infections, booster shots must be exquisitely timed to a variant’s circulation in the population. For example, Omicron was a risk to many who received a third dose too early in the fall. This was because the immune booster had already diminished.
The Coronavirus Pandemic – Key Facts to Know
People are generally advised to get vaccinated against influenza before the virus begins to circulate in winter. If the coronavirus settles into a flulike seasonal pattern, as it seems possible, “you can imagine a scenario where we simply give boosters before the winter each year,” Dr. Hensley said.
The lessons from flu season show that frequent vaccinations are unlikely to prove beneficial. Giving the flu vaccine twice a year “has a diminishing return, and so it may not make sense to do vaccination so frequently,” said Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong. “For the initial doses that people receive the responses get better and better, but then there’s a turning point.”
“I think it’ll be difficult to get high uptake with more frequent vaccinations,” he added.
Some experts have raised concerns that getting boosters too often — as some people are doing on their own — may even be harmful. The theory is that it could backfire in two ways.
Source: NY Times