BOOST your knowledge about the COVID-19 booster shot! (Article from October 2021 Newsletter)

Information from the Minnesota Department of Health.

What are COVID-19 booster shots?

  • A booster shot is given when protection from the original vaccination begins to wane. This additional dose generates more antibodies to protect a person.
  • Many routine vaccines require boosters to maintain protection. For example, people are due to get a tetanus shot every 10 years. That shot you get every 10 years is a booster shot. It “boosts” your ability to fight the disease if you are exposed because we know initial protection from the vaccine declines over time.
  • People who have received their initial vaccine series (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) still have some protection even once protection starts to decline (protection does not go down to zero). The booster shot helps get protection back to a higher level.

When will I get my booster shot?

  • It is important to note that not everyone will need a booster right away.
  • While it will be important to get your booster shot, you should only get it when it is recommended. The recommended timing is based on research showing when boosters are most effective at increasing immunity.
  • There are plenty of vaccines across the state. There will be a dose available for you when you are due for your shot. Do not rush out to get your booster.
  • Right now boosters are approved only for certain groups who got the Pfizer vaccine.

Why should unvaccinated people get vaccinated if we’ll need boosters?

  • Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 for yourself and your community. COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection, especially against severe illness and death.
  • Like many other routinely administered vaccines, boosters will be needed to keep a higher level of protection. But receiving that initial protection is important.
  • For those who have not been vaccinated, now is the time. The more people who are vaccinated, the more protection we will have in our communities to help protect those who are not able to get vaccinated or who do not respond as well to the vaccine.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines protect us against severe disease, hospitalization, and death – including against the Delta variant.
  • Every new infection gives the virus an opportunity to mutate and potentially escape our vaccines.
  • As we learn more about COVID-19, and as we continue to track how the vaccines are working, we will continue to follow the science and update recommendations that will best protect people from the disease.