The Food and Drug Administration last week expanded its emergency-use authorization for Covid vaccine boosters to all adults over 18. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed, also recommending that all fully vaccinated adults over 50 receive it. If you are over 18, haven’t had Covid-19, and received your first shot more than six months ago, you should get a booster. It will protect you and others from the disease, and the side effects are minimal.

A new study in Nature demonstrates that the viral load decreases after the booster, which should mean a lower risk of transmission in a breakthrough case. A randomized study of more than 10,000 patients over 16, recently presented by Pfizer to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, showed 95% protection against infection among those in the boosted group who didn’t have evidence of previous infection. The side effects of boosters were similar to those from previous vaccine studies, mainly irritation at the injection site, fever and fatigue, but no evidence of myocarditis.

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