By Samuetta Hill Drew
Many Americans are choosing to get their booster shots, especially those who became fully vaccinated (received two dose COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots or a single J & J Janssen shot) in the spring of 2021. This group of fully vaccinated Americans have approached or are approaching six months.
It should be noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage individuals aged 65 years and older, along with adults 50–64-year-old people with medical conditions, to take the booster shots. Studies have revealed the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions. It is always wise to speak with your physicians about these types of matters, especially if you are unsure about the need for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot.
This week’s article continues the conversation regarding the most frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots. Let’s review some additional questions citizens are thinking and talking about based upon the CDC.
Q. What are the risks to getting a booster shot?
A. So far, reactions reported after getting the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot were similar to the two-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.
Q. Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I do not get a booster shot?
A. Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.
At your first vaccination appointment, you should have received a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Bring this vaccination card with you to your booster vaccination appointment. Make sure you keep up with your card. Many places and events have started requiring proof of vaccination by asking you to show your card before entry. Many are taking photos of their vaccination cards and saving it on their cell phones.
If you did not receive a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination site where you got your first shot or state health department to find out how you can get a card. It is important that you have and maintain your card to help Keep an Eye on Safety for you.