COVID-19 Booster Information
COVID-19 vaccines are designed to protect you from severe illness, including hospitalization or death. While there is a chance, particularly with the Omicron variant, for fully vaccinated Ohioans to get COVID-19, the good news is that when you’re vaccinated, you can feel confident that your risk of developing severe disease is very low. The same is not true for the unvaccinated, remembering that it is the unvaccinated who are filling our hospital beds, and can be at risk for severe illness.
The primary COVID-19 vaccine series teaches your body’s immune system how to create an immune response, and is primed to spot the COVID-19 virus and produce antibodies against it. However, sometimes, that immunity can wane. Booster shots are a way to remind your body’s immune system about the virus, and “re-prime” it for peak defense from the virus, giving your immune system a needed boost.
Booster shots are recommended for recipients of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at least 6 months following completion of the primary series, and for recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 2 months after completion of the primary series. You can choose any of the three available vaccines for booster doses, although the CDC recommends receiving an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). Pfizer recipients must be at least 16 years old to get a booster.
Booster doses are crucial not only because of the protection they provide against the Delta variant, the dominant strain which is currently driving cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Ohio, but because early research points to timely boosters providing protection against severe illness and death from the new Omicron variant.