COVID Cases are Rising: When to get Your COVID Booster this Fall

COVID Cases are Rising: When to get Your COVID Booster this Fall

UPDATE September 13, 2023 – The FDA and CDC have both approved a new updated COVID vaccine. The updated vaccines should work well against currently circulating variants of COVID-19, including BA.2.86 and continue to be the best way to protect yourself against severe disease. Everyone aged six months and older is recommended to receive one as soon as possible. Find a location to get your booster at

By Mike Hori, MD, Medical Director, Infectious Disease Clinic

The winter respiratory season is quickly approaching with the strong expectation of another COVID surge. We are already seeing an increase in COVID-related hospital admissions.

This may have you wondering, “What COVID vaccinations should I get and when should I get vaccinated?” 

Recently, new COVID variants have arrived on the scene. EG.5 is now rapidly spreading through the country and is probably responsible for the current surge. A new variant, BA.2.86, is on the horizon with multiple spike mutations that may cause it to spread even more rapidly and widely. 

Although the new variants are the offspring of the Omicron strains that made up the last bivalent vaccine, they are different enough that that the old vaccine will not work as well now as it did last fall. 

A new COVID vaccine has been approved and be available for this fall’s vaccination season. This vaccine was updated for the current circulating variants and will help protect against severe disease, hospitalization, and death. It will likely be useful in preventing clinical disease as well. 

It’s not recommended to wait until further into the respiratory virus season to receive the new COVID booster. Everyone aged six months and older is recommended to get the new COVID vaccination as soon as possible. There are a couple of situations that may require waiting a little longer; current recommendations include waiting two months from your last COVID booster to receive the updated vaccine and waiting three months after a COVID infection to get the new booster.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office