What is a booster shot?
A booster shot is recommended once the effects of the originally administered vaccine is determined to decline. The COVID-19 vaccine booster dose provides additional protection against the disease, and can increase antibodies up to 10x to help fight it. The FDA has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson&Johnson booster shots. Although most prefer to stick to the one that were given initially, the FDA has approved mixing and matching vaccines. The booster shot is the same as the original single dose for all brands except for the Moderna, which has half of the initial does.
Questions to ask yourself before getting the booster
Which vaccine did I originally get?
If the answer is the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, then you must wait at least 6 months before getting the booster.
If the answer is the Janssen/Johnson&Johnson, then you must wait at least 2 months before getting the booster.
Am I eligible?
Eligibility also depends on which vaccine you initially received. As of today, the CDC has approved the following cohorts for the booster shots based on the initial vaccine
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- 65 years and older
- 18 years and older that live in long term care facilities, underlying health condition, or live/work in high risk settings
Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine
- 18 years and older (after waiting 2 months from the original dose)
What should I expect after receiving the booster?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the side effects of the booster will mirror how you felt after the second dose (or the original dose if the J&J vaccine was received.) Common reported side effects are soreness, muscle pain, fever, headache, tiredness, and chills.
- If you are eligible the CDC recommends to get the booster shot.
- It is still important to get covid tested when required to or if you feel any symptoms. In addition to primary, secondary prevention (covid testing, in this case) is crucial in early detection and reducing the impact of a disease. The vaccine does not prevent you from getting infected, but helps protect your body and strengthen your immune system, thus preventing severe symptoms that can potentially be life threatening.
- The holidays are coming up! Let’s all work together and help keep our loved ones healthy and safe!