The COVID-19 Booster

The booster shot is becoming more available and encouraged.

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The booster shot is becoming more available and encouraged.

Anna Berges, Staff Writer

The age groups targeted for getting the trending  booster shot are middle schoolers and high schoolers. Making sure you are the most protected you can be from the virus is important to be able to have a structured school year.

As of now, those 12 or older who have completed their original vaccine dose(s) are also recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get the additional dose. The specific booster for those ages 12 and up is The Pfizer-BioNTech. Boosters are available at clinics, vaccination sites and even local pharmacies.

The newest Maryland Department of Health report on Jan. 5, 2022 reported 38 new cases on that day alone at Stephen Decatur. As these cases result in an abundance of absences, having the ability to enforce work being completed is limited yet again. Announcements encourage quarantined students to stay on top of work through this.

The booster shot is an additional dose of the vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) start to decrease. Obtaining this booster is advised for people who have had their dose(s) for five months or more. Over time, the immunity from the original vaccine starts to wear off so the booster comes into play to keep immunity maintained.

Stephen Decatur junior Gia Antimary said, “I already got my booster shot. COVID-19 is getting bad again and I live with my grandparents, and I do not want to take the chance of getting the virus.”

Due to the increasing levels of the virus that can be seen nationwide, the idea of getting the extra shot is highly encouraged. The increase of new cases in December continue to carry into the new year.  From just Dec. 29, 2021 to Jan. 11, 2021, there were 1,136 new cases.

“This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. I encourage all parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a news release.

Adding to this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also on board with the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster in adolescents,  encouraging all who are eligible to receive that additional dose.

“Since we first authorized the vaccine, new evidence indicates that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 is waning after the second dose of the vaccine for all adults and for those in the 16 and 17-year-old age group.  A single booster dose for those vaccinated will help provide continued protection against COVID-19 in this and older age groups,” Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said.

Not only will receiving this booster bring the user benefits, but it will also benefit the elderly. As this virus is threatening for them, making sure that the people they interact with are fully vaccinated can be crucial to their health.

The FDA has analyzed immune response data supporting the booster in both young people and adults. Not only does it build immunity, but also keeps those surrounding safer. Side effects that come with this are fatigue, muscle pain and nausea, much like the symptoms of the primary series of the original vaccine.

As 2021 came to an end, the CDC reported more than 62 million Americans receiving the booster. Spiking rates of COVID-19 yet again are causing higher than ever vaccine surges.