Why You Should Get A Booster Shot Now   

Why You Should Get A Booster Shot Now

Why You Should Get A Booster Shot Now

January 12, 2022

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Jerry Zuckerman, M.D.

If you haven’t gotten a COVID-19 booster shot yet, make an appointment as soon as possible.

COVID 19 booster infographic

Appointments are available at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals, county health departments, COVID-19 Vaccine Mega-Sites and other locations. 

“If you received an mRNA vaccine for your first series, then either Pfizer or Moderna can be given as the booster. The booster can be either the same vaccine that you originally received or switched to the alternative one. There is no proven benefit to switching between mRNA vaccines. However, if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it’s recommended you pick an mRNA vaccine for your booster dose,” says Jerry Zuckerman, M.D., vice president of infection control and prevention at Hackensack Meridian Health.

Why should you get a COVID-19 booster shot? There are many compelling reasons:

COVID-19 vaccine immunity wanes over time. 

COVID-19 vaccines help prevent infection in many people. Some vaccinated people may test positive for COVID-19, but the vaccines help to limit their illness to milder symptoms. 

But the vaccines don’t offer protection forever; studies have shown that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines decrease over time, particularly among adults age 65 and older. Getting a booster shot helps to boost, or increase, the effectiveness of your vaccination.

Omicron – the latest COVID-19 variant – is highly transmissible. 

In November, the Omicron variant was first detected and identified internationally, and on December 1st, the first Omicron case was identified in the United States. Omicron is now the predominant variant in the U.S. The Omicron variant is more transmissible than previous variants and some treatments are less effective against it.

At the moment, receiving a booster dose will help vaccinated people avoid severe illness, hospitalization and death from Omicron. While hospitalizations in the U.S. have reached their highest levels in January since the start of the pandemic, the majority of these are in individuals who are either unvaccinated or not fully up to date on their vaccine series.

Protect those with compromised immune systems and children who aren’t yet eligible for vaccination.

Young children (age 5 or under) aren’t eligible for COVID-19 vaccines yet. People with weakened immune systems (including those receiving cancer treatments) are at increased risk of severe infection. The best way to protect unvaccinated or vulnerable people whom you come into contact with is to get vaccinated, including a booster shot.

When deciding which COVID-19 booster shot to get, consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently endorsed the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, saying that mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are preferable over a booster dose with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Next Steps & Resources:

  • Our source: Jerry Zuckerman, M.D., vice president of infection control and prevention at Hackensack Meridian Health
  • To make an appointment with a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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