Why you should or shouldn’t get the COVID-19 Booster Shot. What are the risks? If any.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) now have recommended and authorized COVID-19 booster injections for everyone age 12+.

Any adult who is 18 and up may receive a booster if they obtained:

  • Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot at a minimum of 2 months ago
  • Either the Moderna mRNA or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and finished their primary series at a minimum of 5 months ago

Also, adolescents from age 12 – 17 may receive the Pfizer/BioNTech booster at a minimum of 5 months after they complete the initial series of vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention cited information from clinical trials showing that while vaccines continuously protect against hospitalization and severe disease, their effectiveness at the prevention of COVID-19 infection tends to wane over a period of time. Moreover, a Pfizer/BioNTech booster clinical trial showed that it’s effective in safeguarding against COVID-19, which indicates that a booster dose might result in an increase in protection, as compared with simply having the initial series of vaccinations.

Are boosters effective?

The boosters aren’t only safe, they’re also proven to be highly effective in boosting someone’s immunity to COVID-19. In a Pfizer study, they discovered that the relative vaccine efficacy after the COVID-19 booster was over 95 percent, restoring the original vaccine efficacy before waned immunity.

Moderna is still putting together final data; however, since they have been proven to generate a fair amount of total antibodies and neutralizing antibodies, it is expected that the efficacy be on par with results from Pfizer.

Note that the Moderna booster is just 50% of the original dose. That’s because the initial couple of Moderna vaccine doses were a lot higher in comparison with the Pfizer doses; therefore, people need only 50% of the dose for boosting.

How well will a booster shot safeguard individuals from Omicron?

In separate lab studies, both Moderna and Pfizer discovered that their vaccines have reduced protection against the Omicron variation; however, that protection appears to be restored after boosters. According to Pfizer, its booster raised the antibody titers by 25-fold. According to Moderna, its booster dosage of 50 mcg increased the level of antibodies by approximately 37-fold. Because those are based upon lab tests, it does not depict the body’s complete immune response; however, both mRNA boosters seem to offer protection from the Omicron variant. So, it’s important for anyone who is qualified to get their boosters.

If you previously had COVID-19 and were completely vaccinated, do you still have to get the booster?

Pfizer studied the ones who had previous COVID infection, and the information suggests that a booster is protective for that population and not harmful. The combination of previous COVID-19 infection and receiving the vaccines appear to be especially powerful against SARS-CoV2 virus reinfection.

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