After being hit by the coronavirus and the delta variant, booster shots are now available across the country
By: Samantha Bravo
Ever since the delta variant spread across the country, scientists have acknowledged that vaccinated people will need booster shots. Now, they are finally available to the public.
On Friday, November 18th, 2021, FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced that all adults 18 or older are eligible for a booster shot.
According to a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio, 73,000 adults in New York have taken the booster shots so far.
“Let’s get that number up a lot more, particularly as we’re getting ready for the colder months,” said de Blasio. “That’s how we fight back COVID in the colder months, and that’s how we get ready for something wonderful: the holidays.”
Those who are planning to get a booster shot will have to take it six months after they’ve had the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Getting a shot or two soon will not increase your antibodies to fight off infections, therefore won’t provide much protection.
The only ones who are allowed to take the booster shot earlier are those who have taken the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The CDC has recommended that they will have to wait two months after they receive their first dose.
Vaccine providers will check your vaccination card and won’t give you a booster shot if not enough time has passed since your last shot.
Adults also have the option to choose a brand of vaccine that is different than the ones they’ve already taken. The FDA refers to this method as the “mix and match” strategy.
“Part of the beauty of the mix and match is it enables people no matter where they are-rural or in the city to have a choice,” said DR. Kirsten E. Lyke, professor at Maryland School of Medicine. “They’re all safe, they’re going to give you a boost, and they’re going to protect you against severe disease and death.”
However, some people are reluctant to take the booster shot, let alone mixing and matching.
Some people are questioning if there are any potential dangers of a third shot of the vaccine. Others are worried that the side effects are going to be worse than the two previous shots.
“The current vaccines are still effective against the variants we are now seeing, particularly for protecting against serious illnesses that would require hospitalization and cause death,” said Dr. Albert Shaw, Yale Medicine infectious diseases expert. “But if the virus evolves further and there is a worse variant, the vaccine could be modified.”
Thankfully, studies have shown that the side effects of the booster shot are similar to the initial two-dose shots. So far, the most common side effects are pain, redness, soreness, and fatigue on the arm that has been injected.
CDC recommends that to use the “v-safe” app on our smartphones to tell them about any further side effects after receiving the injection. Once you enter an additional shot to your account, you will receive check-ins at least three months after your final dose of the vaccine.
Medical professionals have also stated that while the booster has the exact same formula as the initial vaccines, they can always be modified as the virus evolves. This could be beneficial because it would give us better protection against the other variants of COVID-19.
“One of the most amazing parts of the immune system is immunologic memory of past infections or vaccines,” said Dr. Shaw. “If you are re-exposed to something, the memory response is even more vigorous than the original.”
While we don’t know how many variants to COVID-19 there will be, all we can do is get vaccinated so that we could decrease the chances of allowing the virus to get worse.