The current COVID pandemic has now gripped the world for almost two years. Masks, social distancing, and vaccines have become the norm to some degree in nearly every country. However, a new hurdle has arisen.
While booster shots to fight Coronavirus have been discussed for a few months now, the new Omicron strain has put the booster conversation into the limelight. Here is why you should get the COVID-19 booster shot.
Why You Need the Vaccine
First off, the main COVID-19 vaccines have been created not to stop you from getting the virus but to stop you from getting incredibly sick and needing hospitalization. It is not a cure, but your body uses it to keep you as healthy as possible if or when you get infected.
The vaccine is also necessary for those who are immuno-compromised, those who have had or are currently fighting cancer. Your immune system would not have the strength to fight off an infection, especially one as deadly as COVID.
Why You Need the Booster Shot
The booster shot is another dose of a vaccine designed to rebuild your immunity once the immunity you gained from your first dose begins to wear off. This is the same reason why so many people get flu shots every year because the protection they provide lasts about 12 months.
The immunity provided by the vaccine is not limitless; it does weaken over time. The booster rebuilds the blocks that may have fallen and gives you that much-needed protection again.
Second Dose vs. Booster Shot
There is also a difference between a booster shot and a second dose of the vaccine. As mentioned, the booster is used to rebuild immunity and is for those vaccinated before. It is also for those who do not have any chronic conditions that affect their immune system.
A second dose is for those who are immuno-compromised in any way. A second dose is precisely what it says on the can; you will get another two full doses of the COVID vaccine. It is almost essential to know if you qualify for a second dose.
Many conditions and treatments could cause you to have a weakened immune system. Knowing if you fall into the category of compromised is essential if you are to keep yourself protected against the virus.
Who Can Get a Booster Shot?
The booster shot is available to those who took one of the three widely recognized shots: the Pfizer shot, the Johnson and Johnson shot, or the Moderna shot. You are able to get a booster if you had a J&J shot two or more months ago.
With regards to the Moderna and the Pfizer booster shot, you are eligible for it if you received your full dose at least six months ago. Once again, it is vital that you consult with your primary physician to ensure you don’t need a second dose instead of a booster shot.
Booster Shot Side Effects
The side effects of the booster are similar to those of the initial vaccine. You could experience a swollen and sore arm, more specifically on the spot you were injected. You might also run a fever or feel like you are developing one.
Body aches, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, and tiredness are common side effects. It is important to remember that this does not mean you are getting sick; it is a sign that your body reacted to the vaccine and is building up immunity.
Having no reaction to the shot could be a cause for concern. If you experience this, contact your doctor or visit the nearest clinic and inform them of this. It could be nothing, but it could also be a sign that your body isn’t processing the vaccine correctly.