COVID Booster: Do I Need a Third Shot?

Gabriela Danger, Opinion Editor

Conflicting reports regarding whether or not COVID booster vaccine shots will become necessary in the foreseeable future have appeared on the news lately. The fact remains that this past week, the CDC and FDA approved boosters for people 65 years or older, and for those who are immunocompromised, to be taken six months after the second dose of the original vaccine.

Lots of people, even experts, are confused. Will everyone need these shots sooner or later? Do they really help?

According to Dr. Boghuma Titanji of NPR, the science is telling: “This group of people (the elderly and immunocompromised) might not have mounted an appropriate immune response after the first two doses of the vaccine,” she told NPR. “So they will benefit from a third shot.”

The CDC speculates that for the elderly, the efficacy of the original two-dose vaccine will decrease over time, meaning hospitalization will increase. Dr. Titanji explained that such people just have an increased risk of contracting COVID in a severe way.

Underlying conditions that may constitute needing a third COVID vaccine booster include diabetes, lung disease, any other condition that a doctor deems necessary. The CDC has made it clear that for people under the age of 65, those who are middle-aged or into their early 60s are in more need of the shot than younger people. As of now, it is optional for younger people with underlying conditions to get the shot or not.

The CDC is conducting research in the area as it remains to be seen if the rest of the population will ever need such a shot. The efficacy of the vaccine seems to decrease time passes. For everyone to remain safe it is still necessary that everyone gets vaccinated. If a third shot is necessary, it will take research to see if it is in everyone’s best interest to get that as well.

For right now, if you know anyone who is immunocompromised or 65 years or older, encourage that person to get this new shot. It would help everyone if more people were vaccinated to keep COVID at bay. Although there are conflicting views on vaccination, the consensus seems to be that it generally helps the cases of COVID in the US.

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