The FDA has recently approved a second booster of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for individuals who are 50 years of age or older. Since older individuals generally are at a higher risk of infection, and may experience more severe symptoms if they catch COVID-19, the vaccine boost is intended to ensure those at a higher risk are still protected.
This second booster shot will help to protect against COVID-19, and has no apparent risks or major side effects. The vaccine is available to anyone who meets the age requirements of 50 plus who had their previous booster at least four months before.
It is thought that over time the strength of the vaccine begins to diminish, especially in older individuals or those who are immunocompromised, and that the best way to combat this is by administering booster shots to ‘re-up’ the levels of protection.
Boosters are also important as surges and variants of COVID-19 - and omicron specifically - are still present. Though case numbers are much lower across the country, the Omicron surge of this past winter was a reminder that vaccines - and boosters - are still an important part of staying healthy, minimizing symptoms, and stopping the spread of the virus.
Those who had two doses of vaccine were roughly 80% protected from extreme symptoms such as hospitalization or the need for a ventilator, and those with a booster shot were reported as being 94% protected according to the CDC.
A sister variant of Omicron has been recorded in Europe - and has been found in a few places in the United States - so ensuring the more vulnerable older population is protected is still essential. It is also important to note that it does not matter which booster you get (Pfizer or Moderna) and that either one can be just as effective with either brand of initial vaccine. Getting a Pfizer booster with a Moderna original vaccine works just as well as if you get all your vaccines from the same brand.
At Pacifica Senior Living it is our policy that all staff members be vaccinated when working within our communities, and we take extra precautions to ensure the safety and health of our residents. We continue to assist our residents and staff in obtaining subsequent vaccine doses should they choose to have them.
Many local pharmacies like Walgreens and Rite Aid have begun administering second boosters now that the additional shots have been greenlit. Call your local pharmacy or talk to a staff member at your Pacifica Senior Living Community for more info on how you or your loved one can schedule your booster shot. We are happy to help ensure you are fully protected and have access to booster clinics as needed.