So you’ve got the vaccine, and life may have gone a bit back to normal. But what can we do to further protect ourselves from contracting Covid-19 OR suffering a severe case? Outside of continuing to social distance and wearing masks in crowded areas, a Covid Booster shot is on many people’s minds. However, the process is a bit more elusive than the initial vaccine.
Let’s start with who can give a booster shot and when.
The priority populations eligible for the vaccine are as follows.
This is excellent news for those 75+ but still leaves many without a good answer for when they can get the booster. As regulations from the CDC and FDA continue to evolve, the best piece of advice is to stay in contact with your physician, who can get you or your loved one the most up-to-date answer possible.
When and where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
For vulnerable populations, i.e., 75 and over, a booster is most effective eight months out from their second dose. For now, the FDA is recommending a booster shot for immunocompromised individuals only. These boosters will be available as early as September 20th for those who need and want to increase their defense against Covid.
Eventually, The White House will direct people to pharmacies and health centers for their booster shots. However, it’s important to remember that if you received your vaccine at a mass vaccination site, you will likely need to receive your booster from another location as these larger sites have closed down due to a lack of participants. Distribution may be different in facilities and nursing homes; however, speak to your Director of Operations about the management of the boosters for more information.
Do I even need one?
This depends on your age. As recently as September 13th, 2021, the FDA recommends that more people overall receive the initial vaccine before others receive a third shot to defend against the virus. According to the CDC, while the efficacy of vaccines wanes minimally over time, only those over 75 need to worry about serious consequences, and even they are lightyears better protected than unvaccinated individuals.
So far, these recommendations from the CDC are not affecting someone’s ability to get a booster on September 20th or after. Still, Covid protocols change rapidly, and it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news.
Do I need to receive the booster from the same company I received my first vaccine?
Yes, if at all possible. The CDC suggests you receive a matching booster because the mRNA is unique to each brand of Covid vaccine. However, if you really need the booster and cannot get it from the same company that administered your first vaccine, this is okay.
It’s often intimidating to find the correct information with scientific backing. To stay as informed as possible, talk with your doctor and follow the CDC and FDA recommendations.