9 things to know about COVID booster shots

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3. CDC recommends Pfizer and Moderna over J&J

When planning your recall, be aware that the CDC now recommends Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the J&J product. The guidance, released on December 16, 2021, came after a panel of experts advising the agency looked at data from a rare but serious blood clotting disorder linked to J & J’s vaccine. Fifty-four cases of the disease were confirmed in August out of about 14 million doses administered; nine people died. Young women in their 30s and 40s are most at risk, according to the data presented. The CDC said in a statement that J & J’s vaccine will still be available to those who “cannot or do not want to receive an mRNA vaccine.”

4. Recall shots improve protection

While coronavirus vaccines can help thwart infection (unvaccinated people are about five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to CDC data), their real strength is prevent serious disease, says Anna Durbin, MD, an expert in vaccines and infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. And COVID-19 vaccines are still very effective at doing just that – they keep people out of the hospital and prevent them from succumbing to the disease. Unvaccinated people are about 14 times more likely to die from the disease than their vaccinated peers, according to the data.

That said, several studies show that some populations are starting to see their protection against the disease decline, including the elderly, who account for the majority of serious infections. And top public health experts have said current protection may continue to decline in the months to come, “particularly among those who are at higher risk or who have been vaccinated in the early stages of the vaccination rollout.” .

It is not uncommon to see this diminishing response. “Even highly effective vaccines become less effective over time,” US surgeon general Vivek Murthy, MD, explained in a White House COVID-19 task force briefing. And other vaccines require booster shots to invigorate the immune system, such as the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine (Tdap). Additionally, the new variant of omicron is better able to circumvent some of the vaccine’s defenses than previous variants of the coronavirus, which is why experts are urging anyone eligible for the booster to get one as the omicron shuts down. spread across the United States

5. Don’t expect new or unusual side effects

The Pfizer recall trial reported symptoms similar to those experienced by some people after their first and second doses: temporary pain at the injection site, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and joint pain and muscle. And data presented on September 22 by a vaccine safety group on the CDC’s advisory committee found that a third dose of mRNA vaccines caused fewer side effects than the second injection.

An FDA review of Moderna recall data details similar results. The booster caused side effects like those seen after the second dose of the vaccine. The most common among adults 65 years of age and older were injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain. No serious adverse events or serious safety concerns have been reported.

When it comes to J&J booster injections, about 40% of clinical trial participants aged 60 and older reported injection site pain after the injection, according to a review of FDA data. About 29% suffered from headaches and fatigue, about 26% noted muscle pain, 12.4% nausea, and 2.3% fever.


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