If you got Omicron post-vaccination, medical experts advise not to rush out for a booster shot
If you're one of a growing number of people who've been infected with the coronavirus post-vaccination, you might be wondering when it's appropriate to get a booster — or if you need one at all.
"People should still get a booster," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious diseases specialist and associate professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "I think the harder part is, when is the best time to boost?"
Provincial guidance on that timing varies across the country, ranging from Quebec's suggestion to simply wait until your symptoms go away to a recommendation from Ontario's top doctor to hold off for 30 days.
There's no magic number, but the science behind how our immune system works means you might want to wait weeks or even months after an Omicron infection to reap the benefits of a booster shot.
In general, if you're sick, you shouldn't get any type of vaccine, said Alyson Kelvin, a virologist and vaccine researcher at the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Saskatoon.
"Your body's immune response to whatever it's fighting is going to be directed toward that pathogen," she explained.
At the same time, your body might not respond as effectively to a vaccine dose, which is meant to trigger your immune system by imitating a threat like the coronavirus. "So this is generally why we should wait some time after being infected to get any vaccine," Kelvin said.
The ideal time to get a booster shot, she said, is when your immune system has calmed down.