It seems like the light at the end of the tunnel is in view.
The public can soon receive a “booster shot,” the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Like before, there are so many questions. Are they safe? Are they effective? Who needs them? Should the rest of the world look into them at this stage of the pandemic?
Many countries, including the European Union, have made the booster vaccine mandatory, not only for its citizens, but anyone wanting to travel to their countries. But is it really necessary to get the booster?
Some reasons to consider if getting the third vaccine is right for you is if you didn’t respond to the first two adequately. People who are immunocompromised do not always build the same level of immunity after a vaccination the way a person who is not immunocompromised would. So a boost may be necessary in order to avoid spreading the virus or being hospitalized. Immunocompromised people make up about 3 percent of the adult population and are especially vulnerable as their immune system is weaker and does not function properly.
A second reason why you might give into the dose is that, over time, the immunity you have received by taking the initial vaccines may have worn off. Even though there is no strong data supporting it, evidence shows the first two vaccines are holding strong to protect against the virus, hospitalizations and even death.
Thirdly, you might get the booster because the first pair of vaccines are less adequate to combat some of the variants that have emerged. Even though it seems that the vaccines are holding up, that might be a reason to get the booster.
Currently the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people receiving cancer treatments and stem cell transplants to receive the booster shot. They also recommend people who received an organ transplant or have advanced or untreated HIV infection to take the additional dose. Along with the sickly, people age 65 and older should consider getting the third vaccine booster due to their much higher risk of serious illnesses than the general population.
According to the CDC, the third dose actually boosts the immune system. But there is not enough testing and studies yet for it to be 100-percent accurate. If you do decide to get the shot, you may experience side effects such as tiredness, headache, soreness, chills, fever and nausea.
One argument against taking the booster is the data in support of the booster comes from Israel. For one, Israel is such a tiny country, and the U.S. is much more diverse, which makes comparisons nearly impossible. Another argument is that studies have found that while protection against infection decreases over time, protection against severe illnesses, hospitalization and death remains the same, even after full vaccination
While getting the next vaccine would not hurt your immune system, always do research, especially when it comes to your body. Do not let the pressures of society make you do something you are unsure about.