Get COVID-19 Boosters by Halloween, White House Adviser Says

Jay Croft

September 14, 2022

Sept. 13, 2022 — Most Americans should set an easy-to-remember deadline to get the updated COVID-19 booster shots, says the White House COVID-19 response coordinator.

It’s Halloween.

"Why Halloween? Because three weeks after Halloween is Thanksgiving, and there’s a lot of travel, and you’re seeing family, and you’re seeing friends," Ashish Jha, MD, said on the Sept. 12 episode of "In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt" podcast. "And [a] few weeks later, it’s the holidays."

Last week, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said COVID-19 booster shots will become annual rites.

Jha said the virus is predicted to follow a seasonal pattern.

"We know respiratory viruses circulate at much higher levels in the fall and winter," Jha said. "It's a really good time to get yourself protected. And even if you yourself are on the low-risk side, you're going to have family and friends you’re going to see.

“You don’t want to be the person who gives it to your grandma. ... Lots of good reasons to go get it this fall."

On Sept. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved updated boosters targeting omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. The boosters received emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration the day before.

“The short answer is, if you’re over 12, you should go get it,” Jha said.

People at higher risk should get the boosters before the holiday.

Jha also urges Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots at the same time.


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