Millions of Americans are eligible to receive Pfizer booster shots to increase their protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus.
Let’s take a look at the gist of this new phase of the vaccination campaign.
Who needs to get a Pfizer booster?
Those who took Pfizer shots twice at least 6 months ago and fall into one of these groups should get a booster.
— People over the age of 65, residents of nursing homes and residents of livelihood support.
— Others between the ages of 50 and 64 with a long list of dangerous health problems such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, HIV infection, and heart disease. Being overweight or obese is a category that falls into about 70% of people in this age group.
Who else can think of getting it?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these people may get boosters, but did not come to full recommendations:
— 18-49 people who took Pfizer shots for dangerous health problems at least 6 months ago can consider boosters based on their individual benefits and risks.
— People between the ages of 18 and 64 doing dangerous work such as health care can consider boosters. This group also includes prisoners and people living in homeless shelters.
What are the side effects?
Serious side effects from the first two doses of Pfizer are extremely rare and include occasional heart inflammation in young men.
Were some people already ineligible for the third dose?
Yes, people with a significantly weakened immune system were already eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna. This group includes people taking immunosuppressive drugs and people with illnesses that weaken the immune system. They did not have to wait 6 months to receive the third dose.
What if I get MODERNA? Can I get a Pfizer booster?
yet. Health officials say there is not enough data on mixed vaccination. Moderna has applied to US health regulators for its own booster, which has half the dose of the original shot. The Food and Drug Administration is considering its application.
What if I get a J & J?
Those who originally received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson also have to wait. The government does not recommend mixing and matching. J & J has not yet applied for a booster. But earlier this week, the company released data showing that two doses of the vaccine provide stronger immunity than one dose — whether additional doses were given two or six months after the first.
Where can I get boosters?
Health departments, clinics and drug stores offer boosters, and many are already getting boosters ahead of the official green light. You may be required to show your vaccine card. Proving how you qualify is in the honor system. Your words about your dangerous work and health may be sufficient.
Is the booster free?
Yes, shots given under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization are free. And there should be enough supplies.
Am I “fully vaccinated” without boosters?
Yes, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of J & J, are still considered fully vaccinated.
Why were boosters so enthusiastically discussed?
The need is not clear. Studies show that vaccines still provide strong protection against serious illnesses of all ages. And many experts want to pay attention to giving shots to unvaccinated people, the group with the highest risk of infection, hospitalization and death.
Vaccines, on the other hand, are slightly less effective in the oldest adults. And immunity to mild infections appears to diminish months after people’s first shots. Protecting health care workers from mild illness may help some hospitals struggling to care for unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.
Do other countries offer boosters?
The UK and Israel have already boosted strong opposition from the World Health Organization that poor countries are not sufficient for initial doses.
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Who is eligible for Pfizer Booster Shots in the United States?
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