The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends newly authorized booster shots manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech.
These new vaccines target not only the original coronavirus strain but omicron as well.
“How high that wave is, and how overwhelmed our hospital systems are, are going to be a direct correlation with how many people get their booster and how this virus mutates,” said Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist, per PBS. “One of those things we can control, and the other one, we can’t.”
So, who should get a new COVID-19 booster shot?
Jetelina told the news outlet that everyone should get a fall booster shot.
“This virus has been mutating so quickly over the past two years,” said Judith Guzman-Cottrill, an infectious disease specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, per NPR. “I feel like we’ve been playing catch up and finally we have caught up,” Guzman-Cottrill says.
Does the new COVID-19 booster shot have any side effects?
There isn’t any data available about the new booster shots as human trials haven’t concluded.
But Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and member of an independent advisory group to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC that he “wouldn’t expect the side effects, severity or the safety profile of the shots to be different from the current mRNA vaccines and boosters,”
After examining the side effects from the original vaccine as well as the data acquired through clinical trials of a different bivalent booster that targeted BA.1 subvariant, here are the most commonly reported side effects, per the report:
- Muscle pain.
- Joint pain.
- Redness and swelling at the injection site.
“We should keep our eyes wide open to what side effects and adverse events might occur, and still keep in mind that this is a new product,” Offit said.