Pfizer Covid-19 Booster Shot Approved by CDC


David Caine

For almost the past two years, the entire world has been living and adapting to the virus we all know as COVID-19. But like all things, this virus has become a political debate. And once again, this controversy will be popping up, with the new announcement of a booster shot. 

We have known for a long time that there would be a possibility of a third shot, a.k.a. a booster shot. And recently, the CDC approved a third shot developed by Pfizer. This shot would give extra immunity to the virus and help protect people even more. But once again, arguments are being stirred up about whether people should take it. Once again, there is an argument about whether these booster shots are constitutional and whether they actually work. 

In a survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, it was found that 71 percent of unvaccinated people believe that the booster shots are a sign that the vaccines aren’t working, and will not take them. They believe that all of the (covid) variants are caused by the vaccines, as they weren’t present before the vaccines. They also believe that cases are rising exponentially, “proving” the vaccines don’t work. Then there are the vaccinated people, who believe that the third dose shows that scientists are trying to make the shots more effective.  

What are boosters? 

Boosters are an extra dose of a vaccine that given you extra protection against the virus, in this case COVID-19. Anita Gupta, DO, who is an adjunct assistant professor of anesthesiology at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine stated, “Basically, boosters are exactly what the word says. Boosters allow people to have an increased immune response.” also stating “…the goal is really to help those individuals if they potentially were faced with new variants and to ensure that they don’t have any poor immune response if they’re faced with it.” 

Who is eligible to receive a booster shot? 

There are three requirements in order to receive a third shot. The first is if you are over 65 years old, have underlying health conditions, or are a frontline worker at a higher risk of exposure to the virus. The second is if there has been a six-month period between now and the time you have been fully vaccinated. The last is that you can only receive the booster shot if you got a Pfizer vaccine. If you got a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shot, you will have to wait a little longer, but hopefully, not too much longer, as Moderna has recently sent their research to the CDC, and Johnson & Johnson is almost at that stage. In regards of these two boosters, William Schaffner MD, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University has stated, “I would hope that within the next weeks we will get information about both of those vaccines. It will be one right after the other, each one dealt with separately.” 

Where can I receive my booster shot, and how much would it cost? 

You don’t have to look far for a place to receive your booster shot, as almost every pharmacy and doctor’s office administers them. Other places available are occupational clinics, health departments, and federal programs. The CDC has stated that, “over 70% of current COVID-19 administration” happens in pharmacies. And as for the cost? Completely free. The CDC has stated that all COVID-19 booster shots are free to anyone. 

Is there going to be an annual booster shot, like a flu shot? 

The short answer, we don’t know. There isn’t enough research out there yet to answer that question. As stated by William Schaffner, “We don’t know that yet. We would anticipate that these boosters, because they really boost and increase your antibody levels to a very high level, would provide rather prolonged protection. How long? Well, we’ll have to see.” 

What are the side effects of the Pfizer booster shot? 

The side effects would be like that of a regular COVID shot. Some will experience some symptoms while others will not. Common side effects include body aches, mild flu, arm soreness, and other common flu symptoms. 

Why do I need to get a COVID-19 booster shot? 

There is one main reason why getting the booster shot is so important, that being that the effectiveness of the vaccines are decreasing over time. Another reason is the variants that are now starting to pop up, mainly the Delta variant. The vaccine hasn’t adjusted to fight off these variants. Another reason is that for adults 65 years and old, the vaccine was able to prevent severe diseases, but more data has shown that it doesn’t fight milder illnesses as well. These booster shots will help to diminish those infections and mild diseases.

For more information, you can go to the CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services websites or reach out to your doctor and health care provider.