Everything You Need to Know About Booster Shot

Dec 20, 2021

The Southeast Asian nation’s virus task force placed Metro Manila -- which accounts for a third of economic output -- under Alert Level 2 from Nov. 5 to Nov. 21. The government initially said Manila will stay under Alert Level 3 until mid-November but now extended it until December.

Condo living as a fully vaccinated person should already assure you that you are taking your part to end this pandemic- but booster shot also called the third dose, has been the talk of the town lately as the country relaxes the restrictions on public movement in the capital region.

Most people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are relatively well-protected from serious illness and death from COVID-19. But even highly effective vaccines often become less so over time. Early research on vaccines that use mRNA to protect you from the coronavirus, like those from Pfizer and Moderna, suggest that they eventually lose some of their power against infection and serious illness, no matter the variant of the virus (like Alpha, Beta, Delta or even the more recent one - Omicron Variant). 

As cases of infection with the omicron variant of the coronavirus multiply around the world, scientists are racing to characterize the heavily mutated variant to understand how it spreads and gauges new risks during this wave of the pandemic.

Preliminary studies released this month have offered some clues about the effectiveness of vaccines against the omicron variant and whether it causes more severe illness, but much remains uncertain, and more research is needed. 

Here’s what’s known so far about the omicron variant.

Why is Omicron a concern?

Variants like omicron are the biggest threat to an end to the pandemic — and scientists warn that they will continue to emerge as the virus spreads.

The omicron variant features more than 30 mutations to the virus’ spike proteins, which cover the outside of the virus and are the main targets of vaccines and treatments like monoclonal antibodies. 

It’s possible that the mutations help the variant spread more easily and that they could enable it to evade protective antibodies generated by vaccines or through natural immunity from previous infections. The World Health Organization said in an update Tuesday that the omicron variant is spreading faster than any previously detected strain of the coronavirus.

Preliminary data also found that booster shots could play a key role in countering the drop in antibodies against omicron. Getting another shot several months after the first round, called a “booster shot,” can help supercharge the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The CDC and FDA both recommend getting a COVID-19 booster shot if you’re eligible

Boosters for Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

Anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago should get a booster shot if they’re 18 years old or older.

The CDC also recommends Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for 16- and 17-year-olds if they’re 6 months past their first two Pfizer vaccine shots.

Boosters for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should get a booster if you’re 18 or older and got vaccinated 2 or more months ago.

Can You Mix and Match Booster Shots?

Yes. For example, if you got the Moderna vaccine and you prefer to get a Pfizer booster shot, that is perfectly OK, according to the CDC. You can decide if you want to stick with a booster that matches your initial vaccine, or if you want to get one of the other two. (The three vaccines available in the Philippines are Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.)

Some research suggests mixing vaccines in this way gives as much and perhaps even more protection against COVID-19 infection. 

What Else Does Research Say About COVID-19 Boosters?

Boosters are just a type of vaccine, and scientists already know that vaccines are currently the best defense against COVID-19, especially its most serious effects. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated right away if you qualify, as most people 5 and older do.

Research also has found that:

  • In general, antibodies from vaccines decline over time.
  • Higher antibody levels from vaccines seem to make the average person less likely to get sick from the coronavirus (vaccine efficacy).
  • Booster shots of mRNA coronavirus vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) increase antibodies by about 10 times.
  • Boosters can provide you with further protection against the Omicron variant. Early data shows that this variant is more transmissible than other variants.

What if You Have a Weakened Immune System?

The CDC already suggests the third dose of mRNA vaccine for people with weaker immune systems, especially those who are “moderately to severely immunocompromised.” This includes those who are getting cancer treatment, who have had a stem cell or organ transplant, who have advanced or untreated HIV, or who are taking certain medications.

Though not technically a booster shot, many people still call it that.

This extra dose, typically given a month or so after the second dose, is meant to increase the first immune response because:

  • People with weaker immune systems are more likely to have a serious, long-term illness from COVID-19.
  • A weaker immune system may not respond as strongly to the vaccine and so may not make enough antibodies to fight off infection and serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Even with a good vaccine response, people with weaker immune systems may benefit from extra protection against COVID-19.

If you have a weakened immune system and have had a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, talk to your doctor about whether you might need a booster shot.

Data Supporting Need for a Booster Shot

Although COVID-19 vaccination remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest vaccination becomes less effective over time, especially in people aged 65 years and older and at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms.

  • The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant and the potential for immune evasion.
  • Recent evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is also decreasing over time.
  • This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated, as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant.

Data from clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 6 months earlier or who received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19, including the Delta variant. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent COVID-19 with symptoms.

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Vista Residences is the condominium arm of the country’s largest homebuilder, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. that offers ready for occupancy and pre-selling condominium projects in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Ortigas, Baguio, Cebu, and CDO that are strategically located within major cities, in close proximity to premium universities, transit oriented locations and developed business districts.   

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For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.

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