Why Booster Shots Are a Wise Decision
The good news is you’re already highly protected against the worst of COVID-19 if you’re fully vaccinated – insofar as the likelihood of becoming severely ill or dying from Coronavirus is slim. Nevertheless, we recommend receiving a booster shot to avoid becoming sick. Research illustrates that COVID-19 vaccines offer diminishing protection and potency. Unfortunately, COVID-19 vaccines lose their efficacy over time. This is particularly troublesome given the rate at which Coronavirus can mutate into new variants, such as the Omicron variant.
That’s why we advocate taking a proactive approach and getting a booster shot to supercharge your immune system’s defense mechanisms. The winter season can be cold and dreary. Cases of the common cold and flu tend to increase with the drop in temperature. Plus, the holidays bring people together, which accelerates the spread and transmission of disease. As a result, we suggest mitigating your chances of contracting COVID-19 ahead of time – get a booster shot before it’s too late!
Why the COVID-19 Booster Shot Is So Effective
Most booster shots are a slightly smaller dose of the original COVID-19 vaccine. Their primary function is to bolster the immune system’s response to COVID-19 by producing more antibodies. This replenishment of antibodies is critical since recent studies have found the antibodies created by vaccines decline over time. Because fewer antibodies mean less resistance to the virus, you’ll want to replenish your antibody levels to maximize your chances of resisting COVID-19.
In addition to increasing antibody numbers by nearly ten times, a booster shot also offers protection against newer COVID-19 variants, such as the Omicron variant. Being protected against new variants is beneficial for everyone and essential for immune-compromised individuals. People with moderately to severely weakened immune systems want to be as vigilant as possible. Receiving a booster shot will ensure you’re less like to suffer from a long-term, perhaps life-threatening run-in with COVID-19.
The Rules & Regulations Surrounding COVID-19 Booster Shots in the United States
The CDC recommends the COVID-19 booster shot for every American over the age of 12. The CDC also offers guidelines for booster shot timelines. Each variation of the vaccine has slightly different recommendations.
- Pfizer vaccine recipients are recommended to wait at least 6 months after their initial vaccination to get a COVID-19 booster. Individuals between 12 and 17 who received a Pfizer vaccine should only get a Pfizer booster. Adults 18 and older can get a COVID-19 booster shot from any company.
- Moderna vaccine recipients are recommended to wait at least 6 months after the initial vaccination before getting a Moderna COVID-19 booster. Moderna is only available to individuals 18 and older, and vaccinated individuals can safely receive any of the authorized COVID-19 booster shots.
- Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients are welcome to seek any authorized COVID-19 booster starting two months after their preliminary vaccination.
Protect Yourself from Omicron Variants by Getting a Booster Shot
As we've already witnessed with Omicron and BQ.1, COVID-19 mutates quickly into new variants. Fortunately, the mRNA technology behind COVID-19 vaccines has expedited the speed of technological adaptation – allowing booster shots to be tweaked to defend against highly infectious variants. The updated Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 boosters already have antibodies targeting the Omicron virus. Both the FDA and CDC approved these booster shorts in late August.
These boosters are integral given that the BA.5 omicron strain now makes up the majority of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Targeting BA.5 strains, these boosters have been shown to:
- Increase immunity against this variant
- Reduce symptoms
- Lower the likelihood of prolonged and severe disease
- Decrease the spread
With medical experts predicting another wave of COVID-19, these boosters have arrived at the perfect time. They are merely updates on the original booster shot – containing two mRNA molecules instead of one. mRNA vaccines use pieces of mRNA to train the immune system to spot viral spike proteins so that the body can launch a preemptive and successful immune response.
Along with the original virus' spike protein, the updated boosters include a second piece of mRNA encoding the spike protein found in BA.4/BA.5 omicron variants. This minor technological adjustment allows the new booster to target variants currently spreading among the US population. It is also what makes the updated vaccines bivalent – targeting both the original COVID-19 virus and the Omicron variant.
Boosters Offer Increased Immunity & Efficacy
Although human clinical trials are ongoing, the latest bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is expected to provide increased protection against Omicron. It is important to note that there are no safety concerns despite the lack of scientifically substantiated evidence regarding the bivalent COVID-19 booster shot’s effectiveness. According to FDA officials, all updated vaccines satisfy the agency's rigorous safety and manufacturing quality standards for emergency use authorization (EUA).
Boosters and COVID-19 vaccines are not something to be taken lightly. Professional scientists believe the COVID-19 vaccine saved approximately 20 million lives in 2021 alone. Given medical professionals’ extensive experience with strain changes for annual flu shots, the ability to adjust a vaccine to attack a viral variant is unsurprising. Moreover, updating vaccines without the lengthy bureaucratic process of undergoing clinical trials is one of the primary upsides of mRNA vaccine technology.
Like influenza vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines will likely continue to evolve – adapting to target the dominant variant of the season. At ARCpoint Labs of Houston Northwest, we’re here to offer the latest, most effective COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots on the market. Our team adheres to all the CDC’s guidelines and regulations and will ensure your health and safety are prioritized at every step of the vaccination process! Don’t spread or contract COVID-19 during the upcoming fall and winter seasons! Get a booster shot today – you’ll thank us later!
Call (281) 843-4054 anytime to learn more about our COVID-19 vaccination services!