Your questions about booster shots, answered.
by TyLisa C. Johnson, PublicSource
With two pricks of the COVID vaccine under your belt, you may be eyeing a booster shot to keep protection from waning.
Booster vaccines were made widely available to adults on Friday, after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] signed off on recommendations made by an advisory committee.
The committee of independent experts said anyone over age 18 can get a booster. The group emphasized that anyone over 50 should make sure to get a booster to increase protection because they may be extra vulnerable.
Nearly 163,000 additional vaccine doses have been given in Allegheny County since Aug. 13.
If you’re considering your second, third or even first COVID jab, you may wonder: Do I need it? Can I mix and match? What are the side effects?
COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness drops over time and may be less able to protect against the Delta variant, but in studies, Pfizer and Moderna booster shots increased immune response for participants who were fully vaccinated six months prior. A similar study showed the Johnson & Johnson booster increased immune response for patients who received the single-dose vaccine at least two months earlier.
About 71% of eligible Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated, meaning thousands may be considering an extra boost. We researched key questions and spoke with local medical professionals to compile answers and explanations for what Pittsburghers need to know most about booster shots.
Check out these vaccine-related resources:
- Use this CDC search tool to find COVID-19 vaccines near you.
- Read more about waning vaccine effectiveness.
- Call 2-1-1 in Allegheny County to assist you in finding a location for vaccination.
How do I know if I need a booster?
As of Friday, Nov. 19, all people 18 and older qualify.
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Image courtesy of Allegheny Health Network