COVID-19 Booster Shot: Top Questions Answered

September 24, 2021-The FDA and CDC announced this week that certain groups of people at high risk of serious COVID-19 infections can receive additional doses of Pfizer. vaccination..

You and your friends and family may have questions: Am I eligible? Where can I get boosters? Do I have to show evidence of high risk? Are you fully vaccinated even if you qualify for a booster and do not receive a booster?

Analyze the most common questions about the updated Pfizer Booster Guidelines.

What is a booster?

NS amplifier Is an additional dose of vaccination To give you more protection against illness; in this case, COVID-19.

“Basically, boosters are exactly what they say,” said Dr. Anitaputta, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care and pain medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Boosters allow people to boost their immune response.”

Additional dose of vaccination It is especially important for the elderly and people with weakened immunity such as cancer. Diabetes mellitus, Or obesity due to the discovery of a new variant, or obesity, says Gupta.

“Especially vulnerable individuals may have an inadequate immune response in the double-dose vaccine series.

“Therefore, the goal is to assist those individuals in the face of potential new variants and to ensure that their immune response does not diminish in the face of them.”

Who is eligible for Pfizer Booster?

Certain groups of people who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine for more than 6 months can now receive a single Pfizer booster. according to Updated FDA Emergency Use Authorization Guidelines.

If you have been vaccinated with other COVID-19 vaccines such as Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, you cannot be vaccinated with Pfizer Booster.

If you have been vaccinated with Pfizer and are in one of the following groups, you can get a Pfizer booster.

  1. 65 years of age or older
  2. 18 years and older, at high risk of severe COVID-19
  3. If you are working or living in a situation where you are at high risk of severe COVID-19. For example, health care workers, teachers, people in prisons and homeless shelters.

go here Check if you or anyone you know is at high risk for severe COVID-19.

When can I receive a Pfizer booster if I receive another COVID-19 vaccine such as Moderna or Johnson & Johnson?

The exact date is unknown, but given Moderna’s recent submission of data to the FDA, it shouldn’t be too long. Johnson & Johnson will soon follow.

Vivek H, an American surgeon. On Friday, Dr. Murthy said approving booster immunization for everyone, including the first person to receive the Moderna or J & J vaccine, was “high priority, high priority.”

Dr. William Schaffner, MD, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University, agrees that it should happen soon.

“We hope to have information on both of these vaccines within six weeks of next month,” he says. “It’s one after another. Each was treated separately.”

“I know that can lead to some confusion, but that’s the way you have to do it because not all the data was assembled at exactly the same time.”

Dr. Eric Usher, a family doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, said the availability of Pfizer boosters to certain high-risk groups is a major indication that other COVID-19 vaccine boosters are not too late. It says it’s a sign. city.

“For me, it’s a powerful indicator that they will soon be available to the rest of us,” he says.

Where can I get a Pfizer booster? How much does it cost?

You can get your booster shots at pharmacies, your clinic, health department, vocational clinics, and federal programs, according to To CDC.

“More than 70% of current COVID-19 administration” occurs at pharmacies and CDCs Status..

All COVID-19 vaccine boosters are completely free.

“All COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses, will be provided free of charge to the US population,” the CDC said. Said Thursday.

Do I need to show evidence of Pfizer vaccination before getting a Pfizer booster?

The easy answer is probably not. But for safety, it’s important to follow FDA guidelines and get a Pfizer booster only if you’ve been vaccinated with Pfizer, Schaffner said.

“It already opens the door to unvaccinated people who are very enthusiastic about getting boosters and wanting to go ahead and get boosters. That’s not recommended,” he said. say.

“This is unlikely, but if an adverse event occurs, it always warns people that insurance will not cover it if they do it outside the set recommendations.”

Do I need to prove that I am at high risk for the underlying illness, live or work in a location that is at high risk for severe COVID-19, or are 65 years of age or older?


It will work in the honor system, says Schaffner. “In other words, you say you’re eligible to appear, you won’t be quized about it, and the location will give you a booster, whether it’s a pharmacy or a vaccination site.

“This is the same procedure we have already taken for people with weakened immunity. All they have to do is show up and say,” I’m in the immunocompromised group. ” Only, and they receive a third dose. “

Is the booster a full or half dose of Pfizer vaccine?

Pfizer amplifier According to the FDA, it is the full dose of Pfizer vaccine.

However, this may not be the same with other COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

“For example, the FDA is considering whether to approve a low dose of Moderna COVID-19. Vaccine booster More than the dose given in the first two shots, “says Gupta.

But don’t get too absorbed in booster shot doses.

“This is based on the composition of the vaccine and does not change the level of protection,” says Usher.

Is it considered fully vaccinated even if it is fully vaccinated but not boosted?


“Based on current data, the definition of’fully vaccinated’remains the same after the recommendation of booster immunization,” the CDC said. To tell..

It is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the first vaccination series, including two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

For people with weakened immunity, Gupta says it can be a little more complicated.

“For clarity, if your immune system is weak, the third shot is called the third dose. A third dose is currently available for people who are immune-vulnerable. If is not reduced, the third shot is considered a booster.

“According to the CDC, people with moderate to severely impaired immune systems are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and may not be able to build the same level of immune system. Immunity In the double vaccination series compared to people who are not immune vulnerable. This additional dose is intended to improve the response of immunocompromised people to the first vaccine series. “

Is this an annual booster immunization like the flu vaccine?

“We don’t know that yet,” says Schaffner. “These boosters are expected to provide fairly long-term protection because they actually boost antibody levels to very high levels. How long? Well, we’ll have to look ..

“Because we are learning about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination, we cannot predict at this time whether this will be an annual booster, every two years or every three years. You just have to. “

Should I expect the same side effects I experienced when I first received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Similar side effects can occur, such as arm pain and mildness influenza, Body aches, and other common symptoms, according to To CDC.

However, it is important to remember that the response to the vaccine varies from person to person, says Ascher.

“I have patients with no or minimal symptoms (and personal experience), and some feel that they have mild flu 24 hours a day,” he says.

“I don’t think there are any more side effects than I felt with my previous dose. The vaccine is very safe and the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of mild side effects.”

For more information CDC And US division Health and welfare services For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, please visit our website. You can also contact your doctor or other health care provider for more information.

WebMD Health News


Anita Gupta, DO, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine and Pain Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Eric Usher, MD, Family Medicine Doctor, Lenox Hill Hospital.

Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University.



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COVID-19 Booster Shot: Top Questions Answered

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