COVID-19 Booster Shots Now Approved for Certain Groups

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots this fall to those fully vaccinated individuals who meet certain requirements. 

The U.S. first delayed administration of boosters throughout the country, but with new variants affecting case numbers across the country, the US has changed their original outlook.

While the vaccine had gone through full trials to make sure it was safe for the public, booster trials are still in phase one and seeking participants. 

As of now, the FDA has approved the Pfizer booster for high risk citizens 65 and up and citizens who have frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 that puts them at high risk of serious complications from COVID-19. 

The booster shot is not a sign that the vaccine is not working, but simply a way for those who have been vaccinated to maintain their health against the new variants.

“I feel a lot safer and comfortable being in school and going to work with the vaccine,” junior Yaynara Peralta said.

Some students at RHS are already vaccinated, but some have still yet to receive it. As for teachers, they must be vaccinated or get tested every week.

 “I hope everybody chooses to get the vaccine to protect themselves and others,” math teacher Kristen Portela said. 

Booster shots, much like the vaccine, will be handed out free of charge. Boosters are not yet recommended for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Distribution of booster shots were first scheduled for Sept. 20, but now individuals can receive their third dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine as soon as 28 days after their second dose.  

Recently the COVID-19 death rate rose in another wave, with around 2,000 deaths per day.

“I’m nervous because no one can really predict what is going to happen and where this will lead us,” said Peralta. 

Some immunocompromised individuals may even need to receive additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine beyond the booster shot.

As winter approaches, scientists and doctors suspect that COVID-19 rates may spike again, but the morbidity rate will likely be lower. 

“I would always rather have better immunity.”  Mrs. Portela said. mentioned  “If the booster meant we could get back to our normal lives, I would like everybody to get it.”