Health Advice



Boost(er) your chance for a longer, healthier future

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

When 62-year-old radio host Phil Valentine died in August 2021 from COVID-19, the vaccine skeptic's brother said Phil would, if he could, say "Go get vaccinated. Quit worrying about politics. Look at the dadgum data."

Unfortunately, many older folks aren't paying attention to the news that the vaccine and boosters offer powerful protection from COVID-19-related hospitalization and death and from long COVID-19's associated brain fog and dementia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 92% of folks age 65-plus have gotten their initial vaccination, but only 71% have gotten the first booster and 44% the second. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey reveals that a paltry 8% have gone on to get booster number three -- the updated bivalent booster. And that's despite the fact that while folks over age 65 account for just 13% of COVID-19 cases, they experience about 80% of COVID-19-related deaths.

Some of the reluctance to boost stems from the continuing isolation that older folks are in -- making them doubt the need to boost. Some is from being shot-weary. And some is from not understanding how protective additional inoculations are. Seven or more days after a fourth dose (the second booster), vaccine effectiveness in preventing hospitalization among adults age 50 years or older rises to 80%. The new bivalent booster (the third one) targets more variations of the virus, offering even more protection. Getting all three boosters helps you avoid inflammation from even minimally-symptomatic COVID-19 and that decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke substantially. For detailed info, check out



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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