To Booster Shot or not to Booster Shot? That is the question.

Not sure if some of you have received a call from the New Jersey Health Department inquiring if you believe you may be eligible for a booster shot. Then the representative on the phone suddenly looks up a place where the booster shot is available and BANG!  You have an appointment to get your booster shot.

But why do I need a booster shot?  Why does anyone need a booster shot?  It has only been six months since my regular double dose of exquisitely sexy Moderna shot.  

I didn't get Coronavirus before the shot all last year. The dreaded 2020.  

I didn't become a wildly popular celebrity break through case after the shot.  

I dined out all through COVID when permitted by the local politburo.

I attended concerts with 5,000 or more in attendance in Atlantic City.  Still no COVID.

I travelled to at least one country that had a short period of permitted visits by reckless Americans.

I am not over the age of 65.

I do not have any preexisting health conditions that could lead to hospitalization or death or be aggravated by COVID.

So why? Why the booster shot? Any thoughts anyone?  Have you received the same call?  Is it just because of the election, is it a routine six month reach around by Essex County, or is it a phone scam?   


 


According to the CDC - doesn't look like you need one at this time:

  • People 65 years and older, 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot.
  • People 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. 

I did not receive the call.  Sounds odd that they'd schedule an appointment like that.


You've been very fortunate. That's great. The vaccines provide better protection from COVID than recovering from a prior infection. 

For now, it doesn't seem like you need a Moderna booster based on your reported attributes. Your Moderna vaccination will protect you by over 90% from serious illness should you contract COVID.

I would still ask you to be careful since you could still pass on the virus since you could catch it and not know it or have any symptoms. The vaccines don't keep you from getting it; they keep you from getting seriously sick if you get it.

I would say they're trying to get information to those who may be in need of a booster, or even a full third dose.



jamie said:

According to the CDC - doesn't look like you need one at this time:

  • People 65 years and older, 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot.
  • People 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. 

I did not receive the call.  Sounds odd that they'd schedule an appointment like that.

 Yup, I thought the same about the scheduling.  They called on Monday and told me I could have an appointment of Wednesday.  Then I said I had a conflict with work, and they rescheduled for Saturday.


Well, you're not in one of the recommended groups. So you don't have to get defensive about it. But I would question your logic about why you should [fill in safety precaution]. I have never been in a car accident in my life. By your logic I don't need to wear a seat belt.


shoshannah said:

Well, you're not in one of the recommended groups. So you don't have to get defensive about it. But I would question your logic about why you should [fill in safety precaution]. I have never been in a car accident in my life. By your logic I don't need to wear a seat belt.

 Thank you Shoshannah.  Good point, but I am wearing my safety belt right?  I took the two doses of Moderna.


PeterWick said:

You've been very fortunate. That's great. The vaccines provide better protection from COVID than recovering from a prior infection. 

For now, it doesn't seem like you need a Moderna booster based on your reported attributes. Your Moderna vaccination will protect you by over 90% from serious illness should you contract COVID.

I would still ask you to be careful since you could still pass on the virus since you could catch it and not know it or have any symptoms. The vaccines don't keep you from getting it; they keep you from getting seriously sick if you get it.

I would say they're trying to get information to those who may be in need of a booster, or even a full third dose.

 Thank you for your comment.


LaSalePute said:

shoshannah said:

Well, you're not in one of the recommended groups. So you don't have to get defensive about it. But I would question your logic about why you should [fill in safety precaution]. I have never been in a car accident in my life. By your logic I don't need to wear a seat belt.

 Thank you Shoshannah.  Good point, but I am wearing my safety belt right?  I took the two doses of Moderna.

You do not have to get the booster. You can if you want. But your cohort is not being prioritized right now.

The reasons one WOULD want to get a booster is because vaccine-acquired immunity diminishes over time, and we are still in the stage of trying to tamp down transmission to avoid the development of dangerous variants. Each single person-to-person transmission is a platform for a new variant to take hold. The next variant could be quite dangerous. We just don't know. We're not out of the woods as long as the virus circulates significantly. As a population, we have to always be thinking about reducing circulation of the virus. Maximum individual immunity contributes to the overall diminishment of the virus and the best odds of avoiding new, deadly variants. 

But it's hard to get people to think about their personal contribution to the whole. Today's a good day to make the analogy with voting. Just as every vote counts, every bit of immunity counts in avoiding future negative outcomes for the country and for the world.


LaSalePute said:

 Yup, I thought the same about the scheduling.  They called on Monday and told me I could have an appointment of Wednesday.  Then I said I had a conflict with work, and they rescheduled for Saturday.

Well, implicit in your response to the offer of a Wednesday shot is that you wanted a booster.  They told you could have an appointment - you should have simply said that you don't fall into one of the categories of people for whom a booster is recommended. 


I fully intend to get a booster at some point when medically indicated, but I don't really think the Dept. of Health should be pushing the shots.  People inclined to get a booster will do so.  People disinclined to get the booster will just hunker down.


we will also get the booster.  my better half ( really is)  was told by her dr to wait two weeks after she got both the flu shot and the shingles shot to get the booster.  I am due to get the flu shot in a week-so we will wait till after thanksgiving to get our boosters.  I am thinking that this will be an annual booster going forward.


The booster is medically indicated for all.  Your risk is of infection after several months of your last shot is higher regardless of your immunity status:

Among persons 60 years of age or older, the rate of infection in the July 11–31 period was higher among persons who became fully vaccinated in January 2021 (when they were first eligible) than among those fully vaccinated 2 months later, in March (rate ratio, 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 2.0). Among persons 40 to 59 years of age, the rate ratio for infection among those fully vaccinated in February (when they were first eligible), as compared with 2 months later, in April, was 1.7 (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.1). Among persons 16 to 39 years of age, the rate ratio for infection among those fully vaccinated in March (when they were first eligible), as compared with 2 months later, in May, was 1.6 (95% CI, 1.3 to 2.0). The rate ratio for severe disease among persons fully vaccinated in the month when they were first eligible, as compared with those fully vaccinated in March, was 1.8 (95% CI, 1.1 to 2.9) among persons 60 years of age or older and 2.2 (95% CI, 0.6 to 7.7) among those 40 to 59 years of age; owing to small numbers, the rate ratio could not be calculated among persons 16 to 39 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings indicate that immunity against the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 waned in all age groups a few months after receipt of the second dose of vaccine.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114228


RTrent said:

The booster is medically indicated for all.  Your risk is of infection after several months of your last shot is higher regardless of your immunity status:

 The recommended frequency being the important point.


I fully agree with the reasons that Shoshannah stated and I am glad that RTrent showed the numbers.  I got my third shot and am very pleased that it is available.   I feel more relaxed about getting covid infected after this third shot.   And if next year, the data showed that another booster is needed, I will get it.  I am glad that the State Health Dept is taking a proactive role in encouraging vaccinations.  

There are many vaccines that need boosters and the covid vaccines are one.  For example, if you get bitten by a raccoon, you may need at least four rabies shots.  We older people should get at least two pneumonia and two shingles vaccinations.  Children need multiple DPT and other vaccinations.  You may need a tetanus vaccination booster about every ten years.   And you should get a flu shot every year, even if it is not 100% effective.  

I have recently heard on the news the anti-vaccination and anti mandate arguments that go something like, "Since there are vaccine breakthrough covid cases, it proves that the vaccine does not work properly and therefore I am not going to get vaccinated."   This thinking has poor logic and a misunderstanding of how vaccines and how your human body biology works.  We do not yet fully understand how this covid virus works, but we do know that vaccination is safe and it reduces new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.  So, if you are still reluctant to get vaccinated, I strongly urge you to speak to your physician and, unless there is some reason to not be vaccinated, get vaccinated.  


LaSalePute said:

shoshannah said:

Well, you're not in one of the recommended groups. So you don't have to get defensive about it. But I would question your logic about why you should [fill in safety precaution]. I have never been in a car accident in my life. By your logic I don't need to wear a seat belt.

 Thank you Shoshannah.  Good point, but I am wearing my safety belt right?  I took the two doses of Moderna.

And if the science showed that your seatbelt weakened with time and eventually needed maintenance (a booster) to stay strong, I suspect you would get the maintenance. Same here, though you may not be on the list quite yet. 


An added thought.   The only vaccine that I know that is 100% effective is the rabies vaccine if given before symptoms start.   Otherwise, you are a goner.    Thank you Louis Pasteur for this life-saving vaccine. 

With over 700,00 dead this should be a no-brainer.    Get Vaccinated!!!!


there have been STUDIES.  blood tests.  while results vary, some findings were that by 7 months, the vaccine is only 20% effective.  another broke it down by gender/age, for example 1 group was only 11% effective.

just because you didn't get it in the past (that you know of), doesn't mean you won't get it in the future.  I got the booster about a week after I was eligible.  I think that if i should get covid without the booster, i would in all likelihood have a mild case, but the booster would more so reduce the risk that I would get covid and pass it to someone who isn't eligible or doesn't get a good response to the vaccine.

and i would've gotten a booster if I wasn't otherwise in any risk categories if I was eligible.  the only reason they seem to be holding back is to make more available to people who haven't had the 1st or 2nd shot yet.

its similar to the flu vaccine that losses effectiveness in about 6 months....

i seem to recall people in at risk professions being recommended for the booster (medical, direct care, etc)


how about this anti vax argument "I am not anti vax, I am anti mandate and would get the vaccine if given a choice, I just won't do it if mandated"

seriously!  it was a choice for about 6 months (from when it was available to all 16+)...and they didn't get it then, but now say they are just refusing because of the mandate.


LaSalePute said:

Not sure if some of you have received a call from the New Jersey Health Department inquiring if you believe you may be eligible for a booster shot. Then the representative on the phone suddenly looks up a place where the booster shot is available and BANG!  You have an appointment to get your booster shot.

But why do I need a booster shot?  Why does anyone need a booster shot?  It has only been six months since my regular double dose of exquisitely sexy Moderna shot.  

I didn't get Coronavirus before the shot all last year. The dreaded 2020.  

I didn't become a wildly popular celebrity break through case after the shot.  

I dined out all through COVID when permitted by the local politburo.

I attended concerts with 5,000 or more in attendance in Atlantic City.  Still no COVID.

I travelled to at least one country that had a short period of permitted visits by reckless Americans.

I am not over the age of 65.

I do not have any preexisting health conditions that could lead to hospitalization or death or be aggravated by COVID.

So why? Why the booster shot? Any thoughts anyone?  Have you received the same call?  Is it just because of the election, is it a routine six month reach around by Essex County, or is it a phone scam?   


 

I got mine back at the end of August. I was 7 months out from my second dose (received in January) so I logged in to the local pharmacy website and got one.


edited to add: I also received the call last week about getting a booster.


Is anyone being asked to show an insurance card for either initial or third shots? I was not, and didn’t think anything of it until a friend mentioned how she and her husband have the same insurance but got shots at two different locations and their insurance company was charged two different prices. (A $20 difference. She wasn’t complaining, just observing.) No one asked me for a card, just to see my driver’s license. 


i went to a different place for the 3rd so they needed my insurance card....the 1 st time they took the card and it showed on my billing statement


If you are going to receive your shot at a pharmacy, be prepared to show an insurance card the pharmacy will accept.  If you don't have coverage or have some question as to whether your insurance company will cover the shot, go to a government run site instead.


we got our 1st 2 shots at sears-showed our ins cards, and our ins paid $40 for the shots ( bc bs)


When I got my booster at Sears last Friday, I asked if they wanted to see my insurance card. They said no.


I think that the other reason to go ahead and get the booster once eligible is that the level of precautions is dropping rapidly all around us. 

Fewer masks in use in many businesses.

Outdoor dining options vanishing rapidly (we've had three restaurants in the last week promise us outdoor dining when we made reservations, and then try to show us to tables in completely enclosed former porches, or tell us upon arrival that outdoor dining is not longer available).

Large family gatherings being scheduled with little concern for outdoor space (and the most at-risk family members opting out).

People who formerly avoided travel surging forth again.

And yes, all of the science that documents declining immunity with time, risk of breakthrough disease, long-haul issues, etc. 

The booster is a small, simple way to improve risk while you continue to take risks in other ways.


I decided to get a booster shot after an acquaintance got breakthrough Covid (fortunately with relatively mild symptoms) from a brief trip, and I had a trip planned to a similar location.


shoshannah said:

....

You do not have to get the booster. You can if you want. But your cohort is not being prioritized right now.

....


 I'm wondering about the "You can if you want" comment.  It seems that to do this you must lie - either explicitly or by failing to disclose the fact that you are not "eligible", right?   Those administering the vaccines really cannot quiz people about health compromises without adding a whole layer of HIPAA beaurocracy which it seems they had (appropriately) decided is not an efficient use of time, so that leaves us all on the "honor system".  But I don't know if (or when) it is justifiable to take advantage of that system and go ahead and get it "if you want".


sac said:

 I'm wondering about the "You can if you want" comment.  It seems that to do this you must lie - either explicitly or by failing to disclose the fact that you are not "eligible", right?   Those administering the vaccines really cannot quiz people about health compromises without adding a whole layer of HIPAA beaurocracy which it seems they had (appropriately) decided is not an efficient use of time, so that leaves us all on the "honor system".  But I don't know if (or when) it is justifiable to take advantage of that system and go ahead and get it "if you want".

You can now get the booster if your job increases your exposure risk. I indicated that I was younger than 65, and not immunocompromised. It was my work that made me eligible.


Get the shot.

Your getting it makes you safer, and it makes me safer.

Booster or third shot; get the shot.

TomR


sac said:

shoshannah said:

....

You do not have to get the booster. You can if you want. But your cohort is not being prioritized right now.

....

 I'm wondering about the "You can if you want" comment.  It seems that to do this you must lie - either explicitly or by failing to disclose the fact that you are not "eligible", right?   Those administering the vaccines really cannot quiz people about health compromises without adding a whole layer of HIPAA beaurocracy which it seems they had (appropriately) decided is not an efficient use of time, so that leaves us all on the "honor system".  But I don't know if (or when) it is justifiable to take advantage of that system and go ahead and get it "if you want".

 If you get a booster at Livingston Sears, you aren't taking a spot from anybody.  Seems they are undersubscribed except for pediatric shots.


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