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COVID Vaccine Booster Doses

Breaking News – Pfizer COVID vaccine boosters are now recommended five months after completion of the primary series and for children who are at least 12 years old. (see below).

While some folks still haven’t gotten their first dose, surprisingly, others are wondering if they should get a booster dose of their COVID vaccine.

Vaccine Booster Doses

For many others, the real question isn’t if they should get a booster, but rather when…

After all, many other vaccines require booster doses.

Peter Hotez explains how COVID vaccine booster doses will work and why the introduction of this additional dose doesn’t necessarily mean that we will need yearly COVID vaccines.

Did you know that?

While you might only think of the Td/Tdap as a booster shot, as you are supposed to get a dose every ten years, there are many other vaccine doses that we receive that are actually booster doses.

These classic booster doses include the:

The first doses of the primary series of the vaccine series leads to the production of plasma cells and protective antibodies, then the booster dose cause a secondary immune response and the production of more long-lived plasma cells.

That’s how we get higher levels of protective antibodies that are longer lasting.

COVID Vaccine Booster Doses for Immunocompromised People

So do you need a COVID vaccine booster dose?

It depends…

“CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People

At first, COVID vaccine “booster doses” were only recommended for those who have compromised immune systems, as they “may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised.”

In general, immunocompromised people (children and adults) should receive a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine at least four weeks after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines (Pfizer only for kids though).

This isn’t a booster dose though.

If you are immunocompromised, you will need another dose, a real booster dose later.

COVID Vaccine Booster Doses for Everyone Else

But what if you aren’t immunocompromised?

“We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose.”

Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots

Everyone who is at least 16 years old is now eligible for a booster dose, as there is a concern about waning protection with these vaccines.

And of course, it doesn’t seem like the COVID pandemic is going away any time soon…

So when a booster dose of the COVID vaccine becomes available to you, get it.

Everyone who is at least 12 years old (new recommendation) should get a booster dose after completing their primary COVID vaccination series. The Pfizer booster dose has been changed to a 5 month interval.

And that includes everyone who is at least 12 years old.

ACIP has voted to recommend booster doses of COVID vaccines for all children who are at least 12 years old.
ACIP has voted to recommend booster doses of COVID vaccines for all children who are at least 12 years old.

Of course, this now leads us to a situation in which many people in the world still don’t have access to COVID vaccines, while others will soon be able to get a fourth dose…

“In the context of ongoing global vaccine supply constraints, administration of booster doses will exacerbate inequities by driving up demand and consuming scarce supply while priority populations in some countries, or subnational settings, have not yet received a primary vaccination series.”

Interim statement on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

That’s probably the main argument against booster doses.

Still, in areas with a lot of intentionally unvaccinated people and repeated surges, a booster dose might end up being the only way to ensure good protection, especially for those who are high risk.

More on COVID Vaccine Booster Doses

1 thought on “COVID Vaccine Booster Doses”

  1. Just curious….if the vaccines & boosters are so important to stopping COVID, why are there more people dying in 2021 AFTER the vaccines have been given than last year when no one was vaccinated? We have currently exceeded deaths in 2021 than 2020!

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