Answers to Questions About the COVID Booster Recommendations

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Oct. 27, 2021 -- Now that national regulators person issued guidelines connected booster doses for the COVID-19 vaccine, galore radical person galore questions. Here are immoderate answers.

Who Is Eligible for a Booster Dose Now?

As of Oct. 20, the FDA has granted exigency usage authorization for Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster doses for certain people..

A azygous booster dose of Moderna oregon the Pfizer vaccine whitethorn beryllium fixed astatine slightest 6 months aft completion of the two-shot superior bid to:

  • Adults 65 years and older.
  • Adults 18 to 64 with a precocious hazard of getting terrible COVID-19.
  • Adults 18 to 64 with predominant vulnerability to the coronavirus, the microorganism that causes COVID-19, from wherever they work, similar wellness attraction workers, oregon from surviving successful an institution, similar a nursing location oregon prison.

Anyone property 18 and older, who received the one-shot J&J vaccine, whitethorn get a booster 2 months later.

The CDC besides recommends an additional, dose of Moderna oregon Pfizer vaccines for the 3% of the U.S. colonisation who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, who bash not person arsenic robust an immune effect to the vaccines.

Also, in updated guidance, the CDC says moderately and severely immunocompromised adults 18 years and older who completed the superior vaccine bid and got an further dose of Pfizer oregon Moderna’s vaccine whitethorn present person a 4th changeable (Moderna, Pfizer, oregon J&J) astatine slightest 6 months aft their 3rd dose.

This radical includes organ transplant patients, stem compartment transplant patients wrong the past 2 years, those with untreated oregon precocious HIV infection, those connected corticosteroids oregon different immune-suppression drugs, and those with different conditions that weaken their immune systems.

Who Authorized the Booster Doses, What Drove the Decision?

As clip passed aft the archetypal dose oregon doses of the vaccines, reports of reduced immunity appeared. The FDA and CDC officials looked astatine information submitted from the manufacturers that showed clinical trial radical who got booster doses responded good with nary caller information concerns.

After the FDA authorized to the booster doses, the CDC besides reviewed the information and past also recommended them.

In a quality merchandise explaining the booster approvals, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, said: "The disposable information suggest waning immunity successful immoderate populations who are afloat vaccinated."

Why Is the Moderna Booster Half the Original Dose?

Data submitted to the FDA supported a 0.25 mL dose (half of the archetypal 0.5 mL) arsenic capable to boost immunity.

Do All Boosters Work Against the More Contagious Delta Variant?

"Yes, each the boosters amended extortion against the Delta variant," William Schaffner, MD, infectious illness specializer astatine Vanderbilt University successful Nashville, says.

When Will Other Age Groups Be Eligible?

The younger groups who got Pfizer oregon Moderna vaccines) proceed amusement beardown extortion against terrible illness that requires hospitalization, Schaffner says.

However, helium says that ''this is being watched intimately and if waning extortion begins to amusement up, boosters for young adults and adolescents volition beryllium recommended astatine that time."

Can Groups Not Yet Eligible Get It Anyway Now? Should They?

Some radical not successful the 'recommended booster groups who privation exptra extortion whitethorn determine to effort and get 1 careless of the recommendations.

But Schaffner said that ''there is nary request for young persons with mean immune systems who received mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) to get a booster present unless they are frontline workers (health care, teachers, market store, etc.) wherever they person extended interaction with galore people. They tin sermon that with their doctors."

And, of note, younger radical with an unwellness that compromises their immune strategy oregon those connected attraction that is immune-suppressive are already recommended for a 3rd dose, helium said, and for it to beryllium 1 of the mRNA vaccines, not the J&J vaccine.

Is it Really OK to Mix and Match Vaccines?

On Oct. 20, the FDA said that getting a booster antithetic than the archetypal vaccine shots was acceptable for definite people. The CDC agreed a time later.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America agreed with the decisions. In an Oct. 26 statement, IDSA President Daniel P. McQuillen, MD, noted a deficiency of information connected the champion operation of vaccines for semipermanent protection, but that ''current grounds supports the request for a booster successful susceptible populations, nary substance which vaccine an individually initially received."

And for those who got the J&J vaccine, helium added, ''data amusement that they volition person a stronger immune effect with an mRNA booster."

Will People Be Able to Pick the Booster They Prefer?

"I deliberation the reply is going to beryllium yes," David Hirschwerk, MD, an infectious diseases specializer astatine Northwell Health successful Manhasset, NY, says. "In our ain wellness system, we are allowing for that, acknowledging the CDC proposal [that mixing and matching is appropriate]. I deliberation astir systems volition enactment to follow a strategy similar ours."

What About Getting ‘Double Boosters’?

Some radical accidental they person gotten 2 antithetic boosters, spaced apart. Is this wise?

While ''more is better" is simply a communal thought, it is simply a misconception, Schaffner says.

"More is not amended — you privation the doses arsenic recommended. If much were better, that is what the authoritative proposal would be," helium says.

Hirschwerk, who's besides an subordinate prof of medicine astatine the Hofstra/Northwell Zucker School of Medicine, agrees that treble boosters are not a bully idea: "This is surely not a CDC recommendation."

Can You Get Your Booster and Flu Shot the Same Day?

Yes, according to the CDC. If possible, the shots should beryllium fixed successful antithetic arms, particularly if the different vaccine is apt to origin a section absorption specified arsenic soreness astatine the injection site.

Where Can I Get a Booster Dose? Is It Free?

To find a COVID-19 vaccine, hunt vaccines astatine, substance your ZIP codification to 438829, oregon telephone 800-232-0233 for accusation connected locations nearby.

You tin besides cheque the website of your section pharmacy for accusation connected appointments oregon walk-ins. Your authorities oregon section wellness section volition besides person accusation connected wherever to get booster doses, which are free.

What if You Unknowingly Have COVID, With No Symptoms, and Get Your Booster?

No problem, Schaffner says. "Vaccines supply higher antibody levels than does the earthy infection, truthful you volition benefit. Getting vaccinated during an asymptomatic oregon mild COVID corruption is not harmful."

With the immense numbers of vaccines that person been fixed to date, ''that script has astir apt happened galore times over, and we are not alert of immoderate adverse reactions," Hirschwerk says.

Are Booster Side Effects Typically Worse Than After the Original?

Reactions alteration among individuals, and determination is nary semipermanent information connected booster broadside effects.

However, a survey conducted successful Israel, wherever radical implicit property 60 began getting booster shots successful precocious July, recovered those who got a 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine said they had akin oregon less broadside effects than they did aft the 2nd shot, according to Reuters.

That information matches what patients archer him, Hirschwerk says, and besides matches his ain idiosyncratic acquisition aft helium got his booster.

In the Israeli survey, 88% said they felt akin oregon amended to however they felt aft the 2nd dose; 31% said they had a broadside effect, astir often soreness astatine the injection site. Just 1% said they needed aesculapian attraction owed to 1 oregon much broadside effect.

When the FDA reviewed information connected the Moderna and Pfizer booster vaccines, it found that swollen lymph nodes successful the underarm were reported much often aft the booster than the archetypal 2 injections.

What Do I Take to the Vaccine Booster Appointment oregon Walk-in?

Your vaccination paper with a grounds of your archetypal vaccine injection oregon injections.

Will Kids Need a Booster?

That is yet to beryllium determined, experts say.

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