In August, a press release by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) encouraged those who received their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine early in the program to get the booster shot for added protection. As of September, Pfizer is the only company to release a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Covid-19 vaccine along with a booster shot; approved under the emergency use authorization (EUA).
According to the FDA, for those who received the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccine, more information will be released on the effectiveness and safety, and they will keep the public well informed. As far as Pfizer’s booster shot distribution plan, the CDC says they plan on starting with the elderly, people with underlying medical conditions, and those who are at high risk of catching the virus due to occupational and institutional exposures. Distributions are already underway for those who meet the criteria.
Student opinions vary on the booster shot and the necessity of them.
“I think taking the booster shot is a good idea and will help combat Covid-19 further and help us reach herd immunity. I plan on getting the booster shot when it becomes available. I got the vaccine when it became available in March, because I was working on the frontline at a grocery store then,” said senior Dreya Weaver.
Other students question the need for a booster shot and plan on waiting until more data is released.
“I’m a bit confused as to why there is a need for a booster shot if the CDC supports studies that the regular vaccines are effective in preventing the spread and lessening the virus symptoms,” said junior Autumn Garofola. “Therefore, I will be waiting until the FDA fully approves the booster shot.”
Some students are skeptical about the vaccine’s effectiveness if a booster shot is recommended.
“Yes, it absolutely makes me question the legitimacy of the first two shots. Usually, boosters are like two to five years after the initial dose, if not even more. Are people going to need to keep getting boosters every six months or so for the rest of their lives? That’s insane for me to think about,” said senior Dom Pasquarella.
Other students say that that even though the booster will be available in the future, they will not go out of their way to receive it.
“I think it will come out later for the general public, but I do not plan on getting it. More extensive testing should be done by the FDA and CDC,” said senior Christina Chalis. “The regular vaccines are still fairly effective at fighting
the virus and its variants. It would put a lot of people off if they overlooked anything, especially if it negatively impacted the people who work in healthcare or education.”
Many students believe that the booster shot will become mandatory in the future.
“I think that within time if you do not get the booster shots you won’t be allowed back to school or work until you get it. For those who got the Pfizer (vaccine) early on, I think it is smart to get the booster shot to further protect yourself,” said senior Christian Haase.