Lots of folks are likely confused these days about the latest guidance on coronavirus vaccines.
There’s no shame in that. So much information is coming at us so fast, it’s hard to keep up.
Let’s take booster shots, for example.
For those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a booster shot six months after the initial series for anyone 65 and older. The agency also recommends boosters for anyone 18 and older with underlying medical conditions, anyone who lives in a long-term care setting or anyone who lives or works in a high-risk setting.
And you won’t have to pass a test. If you say you’re in a high risk group, those administering the vaccines will take your word for it.
The CDC also recommends booster doses for anyone 18 or older who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
Those who decide to get a booster will be able to choose which vaccine they get. Studies have found that getting a second type of vaccine might actually result in even greater protection against infection.
Those eligible for a booster are not the same, by the way, as those who are immunocompromised. The CDC recommends an additional shot for those whose immune systems have been compromised by cancer treatment, by an organ transplant or by other medical conditions.
The agency suggests talking to your health care providers about your medical condition and whether getting an additional dose would be a good idea.
What about your annual flu shot? Can you get that and a booster at the same time?
The CDC says yes. The agency previously recommended waiting at least 14 days before getting another vaccine, but it has now changed that recommendation after additional review.
What about children? When will youngsters from 5 to 11 finally be eligible for a vaccine?
It might be soon.
An independent advisory committee for the CDC meets next week to consider whether to approve the Pfizer vaccine for kids in that age group. After that, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will decide whether to accept or modify the committee’s recommendation.
Once that happens, kids 5 and older could start getting shots immediately.
At the same time, Moderna issued a report this week saying its vaccine had proved effective for children 6 and older.
In short, it’s getting easier to protect yourself and your loved ones from this deadly virus. Get the facts about the coronavirus, and spread the word among your family and friends.
The Herald Bulletin Editorial Board