In the latest spur of coronavirus news, the FDA authorized the use of a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, under certain conditions. Since it can become overwhelming breaking down all of the information, VALLEY has answered several questions regarding topics such as what you need to know about the booster and how to schedule an appointment to receive it if you are eligible.
Quite the most pressing question — “When can I receive this dose?” The FDA has amended the use of a single booster dose for individuals who received their first series of Pfizer-BioNTech doses six months ago. Further, a booster shot is authorized for individuals who have an increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. says, “After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others.”
It is important to note that the CDC official website says, “Only certain populations initially vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can get a booster shot at this time.” Currently, those populations include:
- Adults 65 and older
- Adults 18 to 49 years old and adults 50 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions
- Adults 18 years and older living in long-term care settings
- Employees and residents 18 to 64 years old who are vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19
Luckily, in the State College area, there are several places where you can receive your booster and it is very easy to schedule an appointment.
To locate these places, check out vaccines.gov. This interactive website allows you to search locations in a specific area that are scheduling vaccine appointments. For example, the various CVS and Rite Aid locations in State College are currently offering slots to schedule. Mount Nittany Medical Center is another location you can visit.
If you received your first two doses, you may have experienced some flu-like symptoms in the following days. The side effects may be more intense than those from your first two doses, but keep in mind that it is a good sign, in that your body is building up protection.
VALLEY wants to give a quick refresher of tips on how to treat these side effects.
- Stay hydrated before and after receiving your booster. Drinking plenty water or clear liquids will help prevent discomfort from a fever.
- If you feel the need to take pain medicine, the CDC recommends that over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen be used to relieve any pain you may have after the shot. However, the CDC does not recommend taking pain medicine prior to vaccination.
- Take the next day easy. If you have the time to rest or sleep, take it. Letting your body relax while experiencing pain or discomfort will help you recover from the effects quicker.
Have you received a booster shot? Let VALLEY know on by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter.