Not only are we still living in a pandemic, but we are also still arguing with people about the vaccine. Inexplicably, people see the fact that Covid numbers rising as an excuse not to seek the medical protection provided. The argument being used by the – right-to-get-Coviders I guess – is that people are getting Covid so obviously the vaccines are ineffective. Counter-point: those who are vaccinated aren’t dying, you lumps of expired soft cheese.
But, because the virus has been allowed to move from host to host, it’s mutated and gained strength. And now that jerk omicron is snaking around with the BA. 4 and BA. 5 variants, which are putting people back in the hospital. Oh my gawd, folks – I am so tired. The good news is that scientists are working on a booster that will target the new variants. The bad news is we aren’t getting it until the fall. So, should you get a booster now, or wait for the BA. 4 & 5 booster? Doctors say now, because there is no downside side to being fully protected.
As Covid cases and hospitalizations rise nationwide, the message from federal health officials about boosters is clear: Don’t wait to get the shot. If you’re eligible, get it immediately.
“The threat to you is now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said at a media briefing Tuesday. “Getting vaccinated now will protect you now.”
The current shots were designed to address the original strain of the coronavirus. But as the virus has mutated, it has become more and more adept at sneaking past the wall of immunity our bodies have built up — through previous infection, vaccination or both.
Right now, omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 account for more than 80% of cases circulating. Experts say the current shots don’t prevent infection from BA.4 and BA.5 as well. Indeed, breakthrough infections and reinfections are reported regularly.
Experts say the shots can, however, reduce the risk an infected person will develop complications of the virus.
“If you’re eligible for a booster shot, you should get it,” said Dr. Jorge Salinas, an epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert at Stanford University. “Even if it fails to fully protect you against getting infected, it can still be the difference between a mild or severe infection.”
Dr. Robert Hopkins, the director of internal medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, said he got about a half-dozen calls from people asking that very question one recent morning.
He advises his patients and even colleagues who have queried him on the matter to get the booster now if they’re eligible, because the new vaccines are, at best, at least four months away from public rollout.
“We don’t lose anything by getting vaccinated or boosted now,” Hopkins said. “And we certainly gain protection.”
The White House Covid-19 response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, echoed the advice at Tuesday’s briefing. “Getting vaccinated now will not preclude you from getting a variant-specific vaccine later this fall or winter.
“This is not a trade-off,” he said.
I’ve said it before but let me mention again, I am double-vaxxed and double-boosted and got my @ss handed to me by omicron. I shudder to think what it would’ve done to me if I’d been less protected. The article reminds those that have recently (or ever) had Covid should still get the booster. Having the virus is not a guarantee that you are immune indefinitely. And pediatricians highly recommend children receive their vaccines prior to school. Remember that kids 6mos and up can receive at least one does of the vaccine now. If you need a reminder of the vaxx schedule for your age, please go here.
Why are we having this discussion still? Because even though our population over the age of six months is eligible to be vaccinated, only 67% are vaccinated. 67%! I know there are those who cannot get vaccinated for legitimate reasons. I also know that is only a small portion of the 33% remaining who have not been vaccinated. And of the 67% that are vaccinated, only half of them are boosted. That’s why we are where we are. And why numbers are rising. And why our virus map has gone from green to red and black. So, the official statement has come down: if you live in a densely populated area, start masking indoors again, folks. And please get your boosters.
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