Dear 7C students,
Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines authorizing use of a single booster dose for all individuals 18 years of age and older after completion of primary vaccination with any FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also universally endorsed these Pfizer and Moderna booster doses for all individuals 18 years of age and older. I anticipate CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will soon sign off on these recommendations so that booster doses will be available across the U.S. as early as this weekend.
J&J booster doses had already been previously authorized for all individuals 18 and older.
These updated recommendations are coming from ongoing studies and data which shows that while completing a primary series with any of the three currently authorized/approved COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. remains extremely effective in preventing hospitalization and severe disease from COVID-19, protection against mild to moderate infections is waning for all three vaccine with time. The J&J vaccine seems to have the biggest drop off in protection (13% efficacy 8 months after the primary series), followed by Pfizer vaccine (43%), with Moderna vaccine retaining the best protection (58%). Data from Pfizer has shown that its booster dose was 95% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in people who had no evidence of prior infection.
At this time, consistent with public health guidance, I would like to encourage all 7C students to seek booster doses against COVID-19 Infection, if they haven’t received a booster already. Local pharmacies, including Hendricks Pharmacy in the village and Vons Pharmacy on Baseline Rd, are offering these booster shots. While appointments are always recommended, many pharmacies will also accommodate walk-ins. Please make sure to check with your pharmacy first. Also, as mentioned previously, in California, appointments can be made using My Turn. If you are traveling home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, you can also consider getting your booster dose at that time.
Side effects from booster doses have generally been reported to be similar to what you experienced during the primary series with either the second dose of your mRNA vaccine (Pfizer/Moderna) or after the single dose J&J vaccine.
You can find more FAQs regarding COVID-19 vaccine boosters here.
I wish you all the best of health. Take care and stay safe.
Prateek Jindal, DO