Skip to content

I’m Healthy and Under 50. Should I Get Another Booster Anyway?

A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 booster shot to a resident at a vaccine clinic in Pennsylvania, U.S.

A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 booster shot to a resident at a vaccine clinic in Pennsylvania, U.S.

Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg

In this week's edition of the Covid Q&A, we look at the necessity of fourth shots. In hopes of making this very confusing time just a little less so, each week Bloomberg Prognosis picks one reader question and puts it to experts in the field. This week’s question comes to us from Cynthia in New Jersey. She asks:

I'm under 50, have no health issues that I know of and haven't had Covid yet. Is there any downside to getting a fourth shot?

I can’t tell you how many texts I’ve received from friends recently asking me a version of this very question. Often they’re less worried about becoming severely ill and more worried about missing out on an upcoming event — a vacation or a wedding or a big day at work. It’s a completely understandable way to feel.

Covid appears to be on the rise again in the US and many parts of the world. More than two years into this saga, we’re all just tired of adjusting our lives to the whims of an invisible terror. At the moment, fourth shots are recommended only for those with more risk of becoming severely ill from Covid. But evidence so far suggests that booster shots do indeed help ward off infection, at least for a little while. So, the logic goes, why not get that unsanctioned fourth shot and worry less about other issues.