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What are Booster Shots? Infectious Disease Expert Explains Why You Should Get a Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

It has been almost two years since the first case of COVID-19 was reported and the world has come a long way, especially with the development of lifesaving vaccines that offered a chance to get back to the “old normal.”

However, new variants emerged as well signaling that there are still many more ways to go into completely eradicating the virus. Due to that, experts have been encouraging those who already had their second dose to also get booster shots for additional protection against the new variants. Here are the things you should know in getting a booster shot:


COVID-19 booster shot patch

Experts urge the public to get COVID-19 booster shots for additional protection. (PHOTO: Adam Gethin on Unsplash)

Why are Booster Shots Important?

Studies have shown that the effectiveness of vaccine shots wanes over time. Infectious disease expert Dr. Jaimie Meyer at Yale medicine noted that most breakthrough cases happen the farther people got their initial vaccination series.

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an Israeli study showed that severe breakthrough cases are rare in people who receive booster shots.

When Should I Get Booster Shots?

According to People, the CDC recommends getting booster shots at least six months after completing the primary vaccination series of COVID-19. But for those severely immune-compromised, experts advise them to get booster shots at least a month after their primary series.

Meyer notes that people with pre-existing conditions, adults above 65 years old, and others at high-risk exposure to the virus will benefit from boosters.

ALSO READ: CDC Encourage Teens From 16 To 17 Years Old To Get Pfizer’s Booster Shots

Do Booster Shots Have Side Effects?

The CDC said that side effects or reactions to booster shots are similar to the second dose of the primary COVID-19 vaccination series. These reactions include mild to moderate fever, headaches, body aches, and fatigue. These side-effects might affect daily lives but they will go away after a few days. But some also do not experience any reactions.

Can I Get Booster Shots Different From My Primary Vaccine Series?

A recent study suggests that booster shots offer strong protection regardless of which brand is taken. Researchers from the UK compared booster shots from seven different COVID-19 vaccine brands and found that each of them elicited a strong immune response against the virus.