COVID-19 cases are on the rise, so now is the moment to get boosted if you qualify.
You may also be wondering if you or other family members truly need a COVID booster and, if so, how to obtain one.
Every person 12 years old and above is now eligible for a booster, but not everyone may get one right away. This is determined by your vaccine history and the time between your initial dose(s) or doses.
Before we get started here are three quick clarifications:
If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you may receive a third dose of Pfizer/Moderna after 28 days since the second Pfizer/Moderna vaccination.
- If you haven’t been vaccinated, get your first dose as soon as feasible.
If you haven’t been vaccinated and you’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19, learn how soon you can get vaccinated after recovering from COVID-19.
Is it really necessary to get booster immunizations?
A booster shot is an additional dose of vaccine that may help extend protective immunity in someone who responded fully at first, but there’s evidence that it wanes over time.
In other words, it’s a ‘boost’ to the immune response that was generated by the first vaccination series. If you get sick or become infected, circulating antibodies are your first line of defense.
Boosters are recommended since data indicate that protection against mild and moderate COVID-19 via the first vaccination series decreases over time, especially among those who have been vaccinated a while ago. Another concern is the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J have all declared that laboratory studies show booster doses of these vaccinations provide protection against omicron.
Who is a candidate for a booster shot?
The COVID-19 booster shot is recommended if you are:
You must be 18 years old and have had the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson immunization at least two months ago.
You must be 18 years old and have had both doses of the Moderna vaccine at least five months ago.
You must be 12 years of age or older and have had both needed doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination at least five months ago. For people aged 12 to 17, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only authorized vaccine and booster shot.
COVID booster shot side effects
You might feel some short-term effects after receiving the COVID-19 immunization, such as a sore, swollen arm where you got the shot. You could have a fever and experience bodily aches, headaches, and tiredness for a day or two. Chills and swollen lymph nodes can also be symptoms.
These symptoms do not indicate that you are ill. They indicate that your immune system is reacting to the vaccinations and creating immunity against coronavirus infection.
Is it necessary for my COVID booster or additional dose to use the same brand as before?
No, you may mix and match different brands. The FDA has approved three vaccine boosters: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. It was determined to be safe to undergo a COVID-19 vaccination booster or additional dose that is a separate brand from your initial dose or doses.
For people aged 12 to 17, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only authorized vaccine and booster shot.
Where can I get a COVID vaccine booster?
Check with your state or local health department for more information. Booster appointments may be found at retail pharmacies, mobile vaccination clinics (walk-up), and state and local vaccination stations. Some locations may allow walk-up vaccinations.