A booster shot is a dose of a vaccine administered in a person before known as the primary dose. This vaccine increases the longevity of the immunity developed after the primary dose. These shots have been used in children and adults for a long period. The COVID-19 booster shots are now being administered to people in order to boost and maintain their immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
These shots are available for all children and adults but are generally preferred in older adults. These shots are being recommended as the immunity provided by the COVID-19 vaccine fades over time and thus makes you susceptible to infection. Currently, only mRNA-based vaccines require a booster shot which is made by Pfizer and Moderna.
These booster shots are available in every hospital and healthcare setting so that it is available to all people. You should get the booster dose of the vaccine which you initially received otherwise it can lead to the development of an adverse reaction in your body.
Today, most people are fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus however the immunity provided by the initial doses of the vaccine can fade over time leaving the person vulnerable to infection. To tackle this, booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine are being provided to individuals so that the immunity that they have can be maintained for a long period of time.
The Booster shots are recommended for people who are fully vaccinated and the timing for the booster shot depends on the timing of your initial doses. All persons over the age of 6 months can get booster shots to enhance their immunity. Some people with compromised immune systems may require more booster shots.
Booster shots do not carry any significant side effects as your body already has the antibodies against the infection however they may lead to the development of mild side effects in some people. The article given below covers all the details regarding Booster Shots, types of COVID-19 booster shots, their effects, and the difference between a booster shot and an additional shot.
Types of COVID-19 Booster Shots
Many pharmaceutical companies have developed COVID-19 vaccines to tackle the infection and prevent its spread. These companies have now released the booster doses for these vaccines in order to improve the longevity of the immunity provided by these vaccines. The following are the commonly used types of the COVID-19 vaccines and their Booster shots.
- Pfizer-BioNTech- This vaccines comes in two initial doses and is mRNA based. People over the age of 6 months are eligible for booster shots after 2 months of the last dose.
- Moderna- The booster shot for this vaccine is also administred 2 months after the last dose. It is also mRNA based.
- Novavax- This vaccine is available for people who are 12 years old or older. They need to get two doses of this vaccine three to eight weeks apart. After this, they can get a booster dose of either a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- Johnson & Johnson- This vaccine can be administered to children over the age of 5 years. They can receive a booster shot 2 months after the last dose. You can get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster 2 months after your first booster or last dose.
Effects of Booster Shots
The Booster Shot increases the longevity of the immnutiy provided by the primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. There are some side effects of the Booster shots which have been reported in some cases.
- Pain over the injection site for one or two days.
- Fatigue for one or two months after the vaccination.
- Headaches after the second dose and booster shot
- Swelling over the area of injection
- Myocarditis, extremely rare
- Mild fever
- Chills and swollen lymph nodes
- Body aches two or three days after the booster shot
These side effects can occur in any person but they are more common in elderly people and individuals with compromised immunity.
What is the Difference Between a Booster Shot and An Additional Shot
A booster shot and an additional dose are sometimes used synonymously but they are completely different things. They are described below for a better understanding.
- Booster Shot- A booster shot is given when a person has completed their vaccine series and the immunity provided by the initial doses has faded away. These shots are given to increase the longevity of the immunity provided by the vaccines.
- Additional Dose- An additional dose is administered to the people who have compromised immune systems. This dose improves the immunity of such people and prevents adverse reactions to initial doses of the vaccines. A person who gets an additional dose needs this dose in order to attain the proper effects of the vaccines.
FAQs Related to Booster Shots
A booster shot is a dose of a vaccine administered in a person before known as the primary dose. This vaccine increases the longevity of the immunity developed after the primary dose. All persons over the age of 6 months can get the booster shots to enhance their immunity. Some people with compromised immune systems may require more booster shots.
Booster shots are completely safe and can be administered to anyone over the age of 6 months. There are rare instances in which some patients have expereinced side effects including fever, chills, body aches, headaches, swollen lymph nodes and pain over the site of injection.
An additional dose is administered to the people who have compromised immune systems. This dose improves the immunity of such people and prevents adverse reactions to initial doses of the vaccines.
The booster shots are only available for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines because they are based on mRNA and they have been extensively researched. There is extensive data available for these vaccines and when their effects start fading. Hence the booster doses are only available for these vaccines.