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Timing of boosters for those who got Covid

Just curious-how long had it been since your most recent booster when you got Covid? I'm planning to get my next booster a month before my next trip. When I got Covid in England last year, it was exactly 6 months from my booster.

Posted by
5158 posts

I had my last booster the end of December, 2022. We brought COVID home from Italy the end of May, 2023. I wish you good health!

Posted by
5687 posts

What was true for the Covid boosters last year may not be true this year. The bivalent booster that came out in September, 2022 included the BA.5 variant, which was still widely circulating at that time and was for a month or two after. So if you got the bivalent booster then, you should have had good protection against BA.5 for a month or two after.

The next booster is supposed to be adjusted for what experts believe will be the next variants. We'll have to see how well they guess in 2023 - will the booster that comes out this fall offer relevant protection against whatever variants are then circulating? Hard to know.

Posted by
602 posts

I got my booster 4 weeks before I got Covid in France last month. I was positive on rapid tests for 11 days. I wore an N95 mask inside….I’ve come to the conclusion that getting or not getting Covid is a lot of luck (or bad luck). No rhyme or reason to it. (My immunocompromised spouse didn’t get it in spite of us being in the same small Paris hotel room for the first 8 days…).

Posted by
16924 posts

Vaccination and boosters do not always protect you from infection with the virus, but they are very effective in keeping you from becoming seriously sick.

We traveled to Italy last September for a group hiking experience in the Dolomites. We were 4 months out from our most recent booster. Everyone in the group of 12 tested negative at the start, but we were riding a lot of buses and crowded lifts, sitting together at meals, and mingling with many others sometimes without masks. My husband tested positive on the last day of the tour, after a difficult day of hiking at high altitude. He had that one day of feeling bad. I tested positive 3 days later, but never felt sick, apart from a few hours one morning feeling a bit “off”. It was a non-event.

However, we have both experienced some symptoms of post-covid, especially my husband who is 78. Brain fog is real, as are insomnia, fatigue, and loss of taste. We are pretty much over that now, but I really hope to avoid getting it again.

Posted by
2921 posts

Last late July, I got a booster before going to France. It was a few weeks before the omicron-included booster came out. I was very careful to mask and take precautions during the trip. But I got Covid two weeks after returning home, so not related to flights or travel. I was sick enough to go to emergency.

Not wanting to go through that again, I got an updated booster the end of April for June trip. I’m staying healthy, but I still wear a mask on transportation and in crowds.

Posted by
2599 posts

My husband got covid in Sicily this past May. He had a booster in October. I had a booster in December and never got covid, despite being in same places and with him at home. He was not seriously sick but annoyingly so. He was 100% normal in 5 or 6 days. My sister had covid before there were vaccines so I can see how much better vaccinations and boosters have made things.

Posted by
4478 posts

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Claire, not what I wanted to hear but I'm so glad your husband didn't get it. My husband also did not get it from close contact with me, but then he got it a few months later and could only have gotten it at the grocery store.

Posted by
10402 posts

I got a booster 2 weeks before leaving on a 10 week trip last August. We didn’t take any public transportation after arriving. Despite all my precautions masking indoors and in crowds I got Covid about 3 weeks into the trip. I’m assuming I was exposed in a restaurant (only went to about 4 in that time that we couldn’t eat outside) or breakfast room at a B&B. Thankfully it was a super mild case. I only tested because I had a slightly scratchy throat for a couple of days.

I’m going back to Europe in December and will get boosted before I leave.

Posted by
768 posts

We consulted our personal doctor about booster timing. We postponed the bivalent booster until April 1 before our 6 week trip Apr-May 2023. It was a very long stretch between our 3rd booster and the April 1 bivalent booster. During that long stretch we both contracted covid the 1st week in August 2022. My partner's was severe and lasted through a bout of paxlovid. Mine was mild and knocked out by 1 day's worth of paxlovid. I then contracted a very bad cold from the children at a 2022 family Christmas gathering. I may still have had some immunity in April that was built up from that Xmas/New Years non-covid virus.

We attempted masking on the outgoing flight which rubbed our noses raw. I gave up after a short time at the first museum. It's just too annoying with my glasses. We were on 2 RS tours with independent travel before, between and after the tours. On the first tour a couple contracted covid within the first 2 days. We had met them prior to the tour and had spent some time with them in several indoor spaces. We managed to escape that bout of the virus as did everyone else on the first tour. Several people were disciplined with their masking with a noticeable increase after the couple was booted from the tour. No one on the 2nd tour masked at all and none tested positive although one of the tour member's rather severe cold symptoms seemed suspect to me. Several others had minor colds,

It seemed miraculous that we arrived home unaffected by covid or other sickness considering the sheer number of people we encountered in crowded museums, restaurants, transportation, etc. It appeared to me that a great number of people were sniffing and coughing almost everywhere we went. I was rather appalled by how carelessly strangers just coughed into people's faces or sneezed explosively near others.

I'm still uneasy when I consider traveling again in the near future. We may not be able to time a booster so perfectly again.

Posted by
602 posts

Thanks cala, we were relieved too and frankly very surprised.

Posted by
497 posts

My husband got Covid on our RS Greece tour in May after we both got the booster 4 weeks previously. I got it 5 days after he did. We both masked on flights, indoors, on bus etc because who wants to risk screwing up their tour, right? Sigh.

Posted by
5687 posts

Outdoors isn't necessarily much safer than indoors if you are in close contact with people e.g. in a tour group huddled together. People who do not mask outdoors but are in close contact with others are certainly at risk. E.g. my friend got Covid from attending an outdoor soccer match, sitting among a crowd of screaming fans.

Posted by
2113 posts

We got the bivalent booster two days before we left for Portugal and Spain this past September. It was the first appointment we could get. Two on the Portugal tour got Covid, and got their bivalent booster a week before we did. They only wore paper surgical type masks. They also did not wear their masks in any crowded areas we visited. One became ill on the Spain tour. We were spared, thankfully. We masked most of the time, even outside due to the hoards of people.
We still mask indoors while out and in airports and on planes.