April 14, 2024


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CDC recommends another COVID booster shot for older adults this spring 2024

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that adults 65 years old and up receive an additional COVID-19 booster. This is the same booster that was rolled out in the fall of 2023, with the shot being a way to restore the protection that may have waned since people got the shot the previous year.

“Most COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations last year were among people 65 years and older,” said CDC director Mandy Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. “An additional vaccine dose can provide added protection that may have decreased over time for those at highest risk.”

If you’re planning on getting a new COVID booster shot this spring, here’s everything to know, including what you’ll need to ease potential symptoms.

What are the side effects of the new COVID booster?

The latest booster shot is associated with similar short-term side effects as its predecessors:

If your side effects persist or become severe, contact your doctor immediately.

Who should get a new COVID booster this spring?

Experts state that getting a COVID-19 booster is based on several factors including:

  • Severity of infection: if you are at higher risk of severe infection, you should consider getting a booster shot. Those at increased risk of severe infection include individuals who are 65+ years old, immunocompromised people, pregnant individuals, and health-compromised individuals.

  • Timing: if you have a major life event you don’t want to miss such as a wedding, consider getting a booster shot.

Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to determine if you’re unsure about getting another booster shot.

Products to ease side effects from the new COVID booster

1. A reusable ice pack

Icing the vaccination spot may provide immediate relief to any aches you’re experiencing. This one from Amazon has over 35,000 rave reviews from people who like that the flexible design allows you to wrap and bend it to fit snugly against any body part (like your upper arm, in this case). They also say it stays ice cold for hours.

FlexiKold Gel Ice Pack

The durable nylon prevents leaking and is easy to wash.

2. A washcloth for your arm and head

If you notice any discomfort on your arm where you were vaccinated, the CDC recommends laying a clean, cool washcloth on the area. With several glowing reviews, these Amazon Basics washcloths are praised for being very soft and absorbent, and surprisingly high quality for the price. Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead or the back of your neck can also relieve fever-like symptoms.

Product image of Amazon Basics Fast Drying Bath Towel

Amazon Basics Fast Drying Bath Towel

A washcloth can help ease irritation.

3. Epsom salts for soaking

Epsom salt baths have long been a solution to muscle aches and soreness. So if you feel tender post-vaccine, you might benefit from a soak. These Epsom salts have over 45,000 five-star ratings on Amazon with people saying they provide quick and effective relief and are more affordable than other brands.

Product image of Amazon Basics Epsom Salt Soaking Aid

Amazon Basics Epsom Salt Soaking Aid

Pour this into your next bath to soothe your muscles.

4. A water bottle to stay hydrated

One of the CDC’s top tips for anyone getting vaccinated is to drink plenty of fluids. An easy way to make sure you’re getting enough H2O? A reusable water bottle. Of all the ones we’ve tested at Reviewed, we found the Owala FreeSip to be the best. It keeps your water refreshingly cold for up to 24 hours and features a leak-proof lid.

Product image of Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Prioritizing hydration is easier with this Owala water bottle.

5. An ice roller to cool your skin

You can use this ice roller the same way you would an ice pack (i.e., over the sore spot on your arm or on your forehead if you feel a headache coming on). Thousands of reviewers love that it’s easy to use—simply chill it and then roll—and that it feels so soothing against your skin.

Product image of ESARORA Ice Roller

ESARORA Ice Roller

An ice roller feels soothing on your skin.

6. An eye mask for peaceful shuteye

A gel eye mask like this one provides two things that are known to help with headaches: coolness and darkness. The gel can be iced down to mitigate pain or tension and the solid design will block out any irritating light. Reviewers like that it maintains its cold temperature well and that it fits comfortably and snugly over your eyes.

Product image of NEWGO Cooling Gel Eye Mask Reusable Cold Eye Mask

NEWGO Cooling Gel Eye Mask Reusable Cold Eye Mask

This gel mask will keep you cool.

If a gel eye mask isn’t your thing, our favorite sleep mask, the Mzoo Sleep Mask, should do the trick for some restful shuteye while you sleep off lingering any discomfort.

Product image of MZOO Sleep Eye Mask

MZOO Sleep Eye Mask

Our favorite sleep mask will help you get some shut-eye.

7. A resistance band to stretch your arm

When your arm is sore, the last thing you may feel like doing is using it. But that’s exactly what the CDC recommends, saying that exercising your arm and getting it moving can help relieve some of that pain. With these highly-rated resistance bands—which have over 86,000 five-star ratings—you can do some light stretching and mobility to prevent your arm from getting stiff.

Product image of Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

These bands come in varying degrees of resistance.

8. A thermometer to monitor your symptoms

The CDC notes that running a slight fever after receiving the vaccine is totally normal (although if it persists for a few days, reach out to your healthcare provider). To monitor your temperature, use a digital thermometer like the one offered by Femometer. It’s speedy, accurate, and the results are color-coded for convenience.

Product image of Forehead Thermometer

Forehead Thermometer

Find out if you’re running a fever in seconds.

9. Hand sanitizer to take with you

To prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses, you should make sure to always have a supply of hand sanitizer at the ready. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can help keep you and those around you safe by killing harmful germs. These travel-sized Purell are easy to toss in your bag or pocket on your way out the door.

Product image of Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

Travel-sized hand sanitizer is a convenient way to keep germs at bay.

10. A face mask to keep you—and your loved ones—safe

While mask mandates have ended, you may still want one if you’re looking for peace of mind, particularly if you’re in an area of high transmission or are at higher risk for health issues. An N95 or a KN95 mask is the gold standard when it comes to protection, filtering out much more particles than a cloth mask.

Product image of SupplyAID RRS-KN95-5PK KN95 Face Mask

SupplyAID RRS-KN95-5PK KN95 Face Mask

Nothing beats an N95 and KN95 mask when it comes to protection.

11. A quality pillow to sleep off the discomfort

The best way to combat any post-shot fatigue is to sleep it off. The key is to have sleep that’s restful, meaning you’ll want to make sure your bedding is as comfortable as possible. While it’s a tall order to upgrade your bed on short notice, it’s much easier to upgrade your pillow which can still transform your sleep quality. We recommend the original Coop Home Goods pillow after testing several pillows. We love that it’s extremely comfortable and customizable.

Product image of Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

With this pillow, you’ll be sleeping comfortably in no time.