What You Need To Know About The New COVID Boosters

Why are the new boosters a big deal?

The shot is the first time the boosters have been updated to specifically target a variant of the virus. The shot is designed to target the original strain of the virus, as well as two Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. According to the CDC’s daily COVID tracker, BA.5 is currently responsible for 88% of all COVID cases, and BA.4 makes up an additional 8%.

A woman receives a dose of the COVID vaccine in Bergamo, Italy, on March 1, 2021. (REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo)

What are the requirements for the booster?

In order to get the new shot, you must have gotten both the original shot, as well as at least two boosters. You also must be at least twelve-years-old for the Pfizer version of the shot, and eighteen-years-old for the Moderna shot. The CDC issued a statement on September 1st recommending that you wait four to six months from the last time you got the shot, or were last infected, but two months is currently the required time. 

Should I get the shot or should I wait? 

The shot was made available starting September 6th, and is currently available at most local pharmacies, as well as the big name pharmacies such as CVS. In order to get the shot, you must make an appointment with one of your local pharmacies, but it doesn’t cost anything to get it. In a report issued on September 1st, the CDC recommends that people get it as soon as possible, to avoid an unnecessary period of vulnerability. After you get the shot, it takes around two weeks to reach full protection. 

This is the first time in the pandemic that a shot has been authorized without human trials. This shouldn’t deter people from getting the shot, however, as the main base of the booster remains the same, with only a few small tweaks to improve the protection it provides.

An RN prepares syringes with a dose of the COVID vaccine in Bloomfield, Connecticut, on February 12, 2021. (Joseph Prezioso / AFP)

The Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis said in a statement after he received the shot, “I eagerly rolled up my sleeve to get the Omicron vaccine dose because it’s a safe and easy way that I can protect my family, and our community, and have peace of mind. These updated vaccines went through a thorough approval process and now we are thrilled they are finally available to protect Coloradans from the Omicron variants.”

While the booster is not mandatory, sophomore Nathan Prentice thinks that he will likely choose to get the shot.

“If there’s predicted to be another major wave of COVID, I think I will get the shot,” Prentice said, “but if it’s going to be like the flu and not hit super hard, maybe not.”

Some students have differing opinions than Prentice, with junior Gabriel Rangel being one of them.

“I’m not vaccinated, and I don’t plan on getting the shot,” said Rangel, “I just don’t think it’s necessary to get vaccinated.”