COVID-19 Booster Shots. Yay or Nay?


Michelle Kurianowicz, Staff Writer

Public health officials across the United States are continuing their efforts to get people vaccinated, and are now pushing for older and at-risk Americans to take the newly available booster shot. These officials are claiming that booster shots will help curb the virus transmission, lowering it, and put a stop to any potential new variants that may appear to threaten our numbers. The Pfizer booster shot has already begun to roll out in part of the country. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots will be coming in the next few weeks. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, says that it is difficult to stay far ahead of a virus that quickly produces variants, so it is important to get the booster. 

Not only are booster shots now available, but certain groups of people are also eligible for an additional dose of the vaccine. The difference between a booster shot and an additional dose is that the booster shot is for people whose immune response has weakened over time, and the additional dose is for those who may not have a strong enough immune response from the first two doses. 

Here are the groups of people who are eligible for the booster shoot at the moment:

  • People who are at least 65 years or old
  • People who live in long-term care facilities
  • People who are 50 to 64 years old and have an underlying medical condition

Here are the groups of people who are eligible for the second dose at the moment:

  • You currently receive cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • You have advanced HIV (meaning you have a low CD4 cell count) or you have HIV and aren’t on treatment at this time
  • You received an organ transplant and take medicine to suppress your immune system
  • You received a stem cell transplant within the past 2 years or are taking post-transplant medicine to suppress your immune system
  • A health care provider has diagnosed you with a moderate-to-severe primary immunodeficiency (like DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) 
  • You currently take high-dose corticosteroids or other medicines that may suppress your immune system

(Source for Eligibility: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs)

Currently, CVS and Walgreens are now offering booster shots to eligible people on Long Island. Are you interested in potentially receiving a booster shot?