Tens of millions of Americans are now able to get their booster shot following their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Those who chose to get the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must wait six months after completing their second dose and those who got the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine are eligible for their booster after nine months post dose.
After a panel was held with medical professionals with the CDC Oct. 21, they have deemed it safe to mix and match your booster shots. Although they are recommending sticking with the same brand, people are allowed to choose from any of the three booster shots regardless of the first vaccine received. The CDC provides further information for guidance on who could benefit or be at risk from choosing which booster to get. Things like age, sex and underlying conditions can affect these risks and benefits.
The professionals on the panel still have not deemed the booster shots to be necessary but they want them to be available to all of those who want to receive it. There is just not enough data to support that yet. There is heavy concern among the country that since the first vaccine mandate passed that this is soon to follow. “The door just got bigger and bigger and bigger, it got wider and wider with each step, the companies got what they wanted, the administration got what they wanted.” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the F.D.A.’s vaccine advisory committee
Many Americans are taking the extra step that is available to them by getting the booster to protect themselves and loved ones from catching the virus. People are using the boosters as well because of the anxiety they have about COVID-19 and hating the state of affairs in the world. The general public has been biting the bullet to be able to get back fully to a pre pandemic lifestyle of working, attending concerts, shows and traveling. A lot of those people have become mask free to those with the vaccine with the aid of the vaccination card. No one has deemed those invalid without the booster shots at this point in time.
As the research continues with these booster shots, Dr. Celine Gounder says they are collecting data on something that has already been released before the data was confirmed and the booster proven effective. The New York Times article, Are Vaccine Boosters Widely Needed? Some Federal Advisers Have Misgivings, says, “the perception is that the horse is out of the barn, and there’s not really much you can do at this point,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center who has previously advised the Biden administration. “The fact is, you can’t have this confusing mess — it’s going to create more problems,” she added, referring to mixed signals from the White House and federal scientists.”
Regardless of your choice, knowing that the research is being conducted and it is safe to get, the booster shot may benefit in protecting people from COVID-19, the Delta Variant and any other strand of the virus that may stem. It is important for those who decided to get the boosters to read up on the risks and benefits that are currently provided by the CDC. Those who are traveling, are frontline workers or have susceptible loved ones they are in close contact with are making the right decision to take all precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus. Lowering the spread of COVID-19 will be pivotal for returning to a normal world and a better economy in the future and the best way to do that is to be fully vaccinated if eligible.