how many COVID-19 vaccines you should get

PEORIA (25 News) – Cases of COVID-19 both in Illinois and nationwide are on the rise again, which could mean it’s time to check how many doses of the vaccine you should be getting.

In Peoria and Tazewell counties, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports high levels of community infection. The Tazewell County Health Department cites a rate of 50 new cases per week, up from 10 in April. This is when the new omicron subvariant leads to widespread infections during the summer.

“Variants are certainly becoming less lethal, but more transmissible,” says Dr. John Wieland, chief medical officer at Carle Health.

As the spike continues to strengthen, health experts are encouraging residents to keep up to date with vaccinations for their age group. This is especially due to immunity wearing down shortly after taking your hits.

But there’s good news for those who might need some extra protection. The CDC announced that adults 50 and older and those 12 and older who are immunocompromised can now receive a second booster. It also comes from the fact that children between the ages of 5 and 11 can receive a dose of the Pfizer vaccine. But beyond that, there’s no indication to get more.

“You start to see that immunity wane after several months, so that’s one way to give this younger group the benefit of a booster,” comments Alice Driscoll, regional director of pharmacy at UnityPoint Health.

Nearly two and a half years into the pandemic, the question now is whether more regular frequency of vaccinations will become the new norm.

“It’s really hard to predict, it’s really uncharted territory for us,” says Angie Phillips, director of clinical services at the Tazewell County Health Department. “We know there’s a lot of research going on right now.”

As to whether more vaccines will be needed in the future, experts say a lot continues to change.

“We’ll just have to wait and see what variants exist, how long that will continue,” adds Driscoll.

All of the professionals we spoke to tell us that they continue to encourage vaccinations as the most effective way to both protect themselves and mitigate the spread of the virus.

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