The Biden administration predicts that up to 100 million more people could get COVID-19 in the fall and winter, so it is crucial that people get the booster vaccine.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already and to get the booster vaccine. The CDC said that people 12 and older are eligible for a booster dose.
According to the CDC, people who received Pfizer or Moderna are eligible to receive the booster dose five months after their second dose. People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to get the booster vaccine two months after their first dose.
Vaccines are the best way to minimize and control the spread of COVID-19. If people get their booster shot that could make a big difference in decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases because not only, are you protecting yourself, but you are also protecting others.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration, said that getting boosted against COVID-19 can make a big difference in numbers.
“It’s really important that we try to get the half — or a little bit more than a half — of Americans who have only received two doses to get that third dose,” said Marks. “That may make a difference moving forward here, and it may particularly make a difference now that we’re coming into yet another wave of COVID-19.”
Data has shown that people with two doses plus the booster dose have a low rate of being hospitalized for COVID-19 and have low symptoms if any.
Now with the Omicron surge and other variants, it has become highly important that people get the booster vaccine before fall and winter. The booster vaccine has shown to protect against the Omicron variant.
“Rather than just being casual about it,” Marks said. “I would urge them to try to get that third dose to ramp up the immunity just because we do have plenty of circulating COVID-19.”
Pfizer and Moderna have requested emergency use authorization for children ages 5-11. Marks said that he hopes that this is something that will be acted on soon and not in the future.
A fourth dose of Moderna and Pfzier has already been approved for people 50 and older in the United States.
Marks said that he hopes the next COVID-19 vaccines, that will come in the next year or two, are better and have more protection.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge here because we don’t know how much further the virus will evolve over the next few months,” Marks said. “But we have no choice, because if we want to produce the hundreds of millions of doses that need to be available for a booster campaign, we have to start in the early July timeframe or even sooner to get those kinds of numbers.”