COVID 19 Booster: Now Approved!

Brooke Ghaly '23

Recently, the Covid-19 Omicron variant has taken a steep rise, infecting hundreds of thousands of people. This variant has infected Ignatius students and teachers alike. Omicron also spreads more easily than the previous strains of COVID. However, Americans above twelve have been offered a new tool to fight COVID: the booster shot.

Previously, the COVID -19 vaccine was two doses, but now a third booster dose has been approved for use by the FDA, and it is currently being administered. The two boosters being offered are extensions of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. People will need to wait five months after completing the previous two doses. If you have been recently infected with COVID, there is no set rule for when to receive this shot. It is recommended that you consult medical advice if you have recently recovered from COVID and are considering getting the booster, depending on severity of infection and risk of re-exposure.

With this new booster, many people are questioning the efficacy of the original vaccines. Why is a booster needed if there’s already two doses? The answer is simple: over time, the protection of the COVID vaccine wears off, as seen in the rise in cases months after a large number of people were vaccinated. This wearing-down is not a fault of the vaccine. It actually happens with most vaccines. For example, most people will get the flu shot every year, and receive vaccines for the same illness multiple times in their life. This is because the vaccine is meant to increase the body’s production of antibodies, which can wear off over time depending on the ailment.

Getting the booster shot is important because it will decrease the risk of infection or serious illness if infected with COVID-19. Although breakthrough cases have been seen as common with Omicron, the risk of hospitalization and severity of the illness have seen tremendous decreases in those who have been fully vaccinated. By getting boosted, you can protect yourself and others from illness.

At Ignatius, we want to be Women and Men for others, and getting boosted will help keep our Ignatius community safe and in-person.