covid19 booster shots

COVID-19 Booster Shot: Here’s What You Need to Know 

COVID19 booster shots officially started last September 2021. But the question remains, is it safe to have the shot? Let’s find out today!

Is a COVID19 booster shot in your future? Despite having COVID19 vaccines, it’s inevitable that we are still in the pandemic era, which means we need to have sufficient protection all throughout. The outbreak may have slowed down, but this doesn’t mean we are guaranteed to be safe from the risk.

Experts suggested that getting a third shot — booster — raises the effectiveness of the vaccine to protect us. However, still, a lot of people are hesitant in getting the vaccine, what more a third shot?

As someone who works on the front lines, getting a third shot goes a long way. Not only does it lessen your risk of getting hospitalized, but it also saves your kids and family as well. 

Today, let’s learn about COVID19 vaccine boosters and how it’s imperative for you to get one.

Facts About COVID19 Boosters

“People get confused—or they think something is wrong—when guidance changes with COVID-19, but we have to remember that we are learning about this as we go.” — Albert Shaw, MD, Ph.D., Yale Medicine infectious diseases expert 

The booster conversation is gaining urgency as the Delta variant surge among unvaccinated people and health officials across the country. Reports are low but there’s a growing number of breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated individuals which are of growing concern.

COVID19 booster shots are not a new idea. Since the vaccines were introduced, the possibility of getting a booster has been acknowledged to fully get immunity against the virus. Vaccine longevity became a hot topic, and thus the rise of urgency for booster shots came to life.

Today, let’s get into facts about COVID19 boosters and why you should definitely get one.

1. What is a Booster Shot

A COVID-19 booster shot is given to people whose protection against COVID-19 has waned after the two-dose immunization regimen. 

Booster injections are nothing new. They are often used to treat viral illnesses like the flu and disorders like Hepatitis A. Most booster vaccines are identical to earlier doses, although others are improved.

2. Not Everyone Qualifies to Get Boosters

About 188 million Americans are fully vaccinated, but only a portion of this population can get a booster shot at this time. Pfizer is the only vaccine maker that’s authorized by the U.S Food and Drug Administration for boosters. 

Essentially, additional doses are currently limited to the roughly 100 million Americans who were fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s products.

Additionally, individuals ages 18-49 with chronic health issues and people over 18 whose works put them at high risk for COVID19 can also get Pfizer booster, depending on their risk and the benefit that another shot can provide. 

However, young and otherwise healthy adults whose jobs don’t put them at risk are encouraged to hold off getting their booster shot for now. 

3. Moderna and J&J Boosters are Coming

If you are vaccinated with brands like Moderna and J&J, no need to worry, your boosters are coming soon.

Both Moderna and J&J companies have requested emergency use of authorization from the FDA, and the agency’s advisory committee voted on 14 and 15 in favor of authorizing these brands. Hopefully, by the start of the year, we will have boosters already for both of these brands.

The panel recommends authorizing Moderna’s booster for people 65 and older and those at high risk for COVID19 due to their underlying health conditions or their work.

Meanwhile, J&J boosters are for people 18 and up with at least 2 months after their first shot. 

4. Don’t Expect New or Unusual Side Effects

With the Pfizer booster already rolling, data reviewed by the FDA shows that it does not appear to have a different safety risk than the first two vaccine doses.

“Seems to show benefits in people who are older or are at higher risk of serious complications because of health conditions, without unusual side effects,” McClellan adds.

Pfizer’s booster trial reported symptoms similar to what other people experienced after their first and second doses:

  • Temporary pain at the injection site,
  • Fever,
  • Chills,
  • Headache,
  • Fatigue,
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea, and
  • Joint and muscle pain

5. Hold off Switching Vaccines

You would not want to explore other vaccine brands just yet. Most people are often asking “does it matter to mix and match brands?”

Currently, I advise you to stick with the same vaccine for your booster that you had the first time around. 

6. Where Do You Get Pfizer booster and How Much?

According to the CDC, you can obtain your booster injection through pharmacies, your doctor's office, health departments, occupational clinics, and federal programs. Additionally, “almost 70% of current COVID-19 administration” takes place in pharmacies.

All COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses, will be delivered free of charge to the US public.

When Should You Get COVID19 Boosters

Some may worry if the addition of booster doses signifies that the present COVID-19 vaccines are insufficiently effective. This is not true. 

While COVID-19 immunizations provide good protection against COVID-19 and its variations, the amount of protection can wean over time. A booster shot can strengthen an individual's immunity and protection against COVID-19. 

To make sure you feel better and assured, it’s better to consult with your family doctor, or a reliable clinical doctor for that matter to ensure that you are well enough to get COVID19 boosters. 

“Boosters allow people to have an increased immune response.” — ​​Anita Gupta, DO

How Can We Help?

Vaccines work, and they work even when the Delta variant is predominant —  though possibly not as well. But the good thing is that we’re always presented with solutions to be immunized from the virus. Essentially, the most important strategy for people to reduce their risk is to acquire the entire series of one of the immunizations. 

A third dosage may be beneficial, but it will not be nearly as effective as getting vaccinated in the first place. 

If you wish to seek a doctor consultation prior to your COVID19 booster vaccine, shoot us a message on here. 

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