The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that they will be offering a booster shot to combat COVID-19 by mid-September, 2021. Those who are immunocompromised will have the opportunity to tighten their defenses against the deadly virus. But with the scare that the pandemic has given us, many are left wondering the difference between a booster shot and a third dose.
Who Takes Which?
A third dose is highly recommended for those who are immunocompromised. This is because when they get their first vaccine, they do not immediately build up resistance. In other words, the third dose will help them catch up to people who are already strong enough to combat the disease. This would be offered 4 weeks after the second dose. Studies show that immunocompromised people who have taken two shots of the vaccine produce little antibodies. But a third dose would help them produce more.
A booster shot, on the other hand, would cater to those who are already fully vaccinated and have built up the resistance. These are offered after 8 months from their second dose. This is because the shield against COVID-19 weakens as time passes. This is what is called “Waning Immunity”
These shots are recommended for those who have taken Moderna or Pfizer Vaccines.
What If I Took The J&j Vaccine?
Those of you who have taken the single-shot J&J vaccine will have to take a booster shot in the future. However, there is insufficient data and scientists are still researching the effects of a booster dose for this vaccine.
Can I Take A Booster Shot From A Different Brand?
It is discouraged by the CDC to have a different product for the third dose.
The CDC also recommends that you do not exceed 3 mRNA doses.
Note: If you don’t know which vaccine you got, or the one you need is unavailable, either vaccine may be administered.
Why Do I Need A Booster Shot?
A booster shot does not mean that the vaccine is ineffective. This is to combat the Delta variant that has spread rapidly all over the world. The Delta variant has shown signs that it can penetrate and cause problems even for those who are vaccinated. A third shot is to ensure that the previous doses administered are not insufficient. A booster shot will be able to maximize protection and will prevent waning immunity. It’s better to have a booster shot/third dose than to have none at all.
‘we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.’ HHS Public Health and Medical Experts. (2021, August 20). Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots)
There is not enough data pointing towards the booster shot’s contents. But the efficacy of the shot is being closely monitored by the antibody response. Pfizer says that its booster shot increased antibody response by three times.