Who Can Get A Moderna Booster Shot Right Now
On Nov. 19, all US adults 18 and older became eligible to receive COVID-19 booster shots if it’s been at least six months since they’ve received a second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster dose after two months. Adults are encouraged to get whatever booster dose is available, even if that means mixing and matching vaccine boosters .
Changing To A Different Vaccine
If you want your booster shot to be different from your original vaccine, that would also make sense.
If you received a J& J shot originally, current evidence suggests that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine booster shots may provide more protection than a J& J vaccine booster.
And even though the risk of rare blood clots is small with the J& J vaccine, its still possible. Because of this, the CDC recommends changing to Pfizer or Moderna for your booster.
If you originally got the Pfizer vaccine, switching to the Moderna vaccine has been shown to result in a good immune response. The same goes for switching to Pfizer if you originally got Moderna. But at least right now, there isnt a clear advantage to making a switch.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know
Bidens new plan.President Biden announced new steps to confront the surge in Covid cases, including setting up new testing sites and buying 500 million rapid tests to distribute free to the public. But experts warned the measures would not stop an Omicron surge, and it could be weeks until enough tests are available.
Around the world.After infections skyrocketed to record levels in South Africa, new cases have started falling, suggesting its Omicron wave may have peaked. In Europe, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark adopted tough restrictions, while France, Spain and Italy are taking a more measured approach.
At the end of the day, I do think there are subtle but real differences between Moderna and Pfizer, Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, an immunologist and physician at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville who was a co-author of one such study, this month. In high-risk populations, it might be relevant. Itd be good if people took a close look.
Pfizer is a big hammer, Dr. Wilson added, but Moderna is a sledgehammer.
Several factors might underlie the divergence. The vaccines differ in their dosing and in the time between the first and second doses.
Vaccine manufacturers would typically have enough time to test a range of doses before choosing one and they have done such testing for their trials of the coronavirus vaccine in children.
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Moderna Vaccine Slightly More Effective Than Pfizer Per Hsph Study
Researchers at Harvards T. H. Chan School of Public Health found earlier this month that Modernas coronavirus vaccine is slightly more effective than Pfizers at preventing negative Covid-19 outcomes.
The researchers examined the health records of almost 440,000 U.S. veterans who received one of the two vaccines to directly compare their effectiveness. The study found that recipients of the Moderna vaccine were at slightly lower risk of five Covid-19 outcomes: documented infection, symptomatic Covid-19, hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit, and death.
The study accounted for the changing phases of the pandemic by examining outcomes for one group that was vaccinated in early 2021 and another cohort that was vaccinated in mid-to-late 2021, when the Delta variant was spreading widely.
Barbra A. Dickerman, the lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at the School of Public Health, said both vaccines were found to be remarkably effective during early trials.
Given the high effectiveness of both vaccines, either one is strongly recommended to any individual offered the choice between the two, Dickerman wrote in an emailed statement.
However, head-to-head comparisons of these vaccines had been lacking, leaving open the question of which vaccine was more effective, she added.
Dickerman added that researchers are also working to compare the relative safety of the vaccines.
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Why Get The Covid
Sandra Trevino, LCSW, is a founding member of Yales Cultural Ambassadors programa 10-year-old organization whose mission is to broaden community participation in clinical trials at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigationand is doubling her efforts to help educate people about COVID-19 vaccines.
In December, the Kaiser Family Foundation released results of a survey in which more than one-quarter of Americans said they would probably or definitely not get the vaccine. Republicans, and rural and Black Americans were most hesitant, according to the survey.
Its a great responsibility to make sure we continue to address the elephant in the room, which is mistrust with regard to the vaccines, says Trevino.
In a recent interview, she explained why shes encouraging everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine and talked about her own familys experience with COVID-19.
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The Mrna Jabs Seem Bestbut All Offer Protection
THE RESULTS OF the first trial that showed that a vaccine could prevent symptomatic cases of covid-19, in November 2020, were greeted by the media with delight. As Nature put it: It works!. But the emergence of variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid, complicated the picture, since vaccines may work well against one variant, but not against another. Understanding the shots effectiveness against Delta, the variant that is now globally dominant, is a pressing concern.
When Do You Need To Get A Covid
As mentioned above, booster shot timelines can slightly vary. Thankfully, theres a general framework to follow.
If you received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you need to wait at least 6 months before you get your booster shot. The clock starts ticking after you get your second dose. So, if you received your second Pfizer or Moderna dose on June 1, 2021, you would be eligible for a booster shot on December 1, 2021.
But if you initially received the single-dose J& J vaccine, you only need to wait at least 2 months. If you received a J& J vaccine on October 1, 2021, you would be eligible for a booster shot on December 1, 2021.
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Winning The Vaccine Race
More than eight billion doses, mostly of eight front-runner vaccines, have now been administered around the world, the vast majority in 2021 . Just making that much vaccine has been the standout success, says Gagandeep Kang, a virologist at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.
The vaccines have had a huge impact on averting deaths and helping countrys economies return to normal, says Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. In countries with high coverage, infections have been uncoupled from deaths, so that even with new surges of infection, deaths have stayed low.
Also noteworthy is the speed of the development of the vaccines . No vaccines in history have been developed so fast, yet 23 different vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have already been approved for use around the world and hundreds more are in development.
Source: Our World in Data Nature analysis
Results Held Up In Both Alpha Delta Periods
Two groups of 219,842 veterans each received one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. During 24 weeks of follow-up, the estimated risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 5.75 events per 1,000 people in Pfizer recipients and 4.52 events per 1,000 persons in Moderna vaccinees.
The excess number of events per 1,000 people for Pfizer versus Moderna recipients was 1.23 for infection, 0.44 for symptomatic COVID-19, 0.55 for hospitalization, 0.10 for intensive care unit admission, and 0.02 for death.
The corresponding excess risk of infection over 12 weeks of follow-up in a period dominated by the Delta variant in Pfizer versus Moderna recipients was 6.54 events per 1,000 people .
Over the study period, 2,016 veterans tested positive for COVID-19, 559 of whom were symptomatic. Of all infected veterans, 411 were hospitalized, 125 were admitted to an ICU, and 81 died.
Ninety-nine percent of recipients of one dose of the Pfizer vaccine with at least 21 days of follow-up received a second dose, 93% within 24 days and 97% by 28 days. Among Moderna vaccine recipients who had at least 28 days of follow-up, 98% received a second dose, 92% within 31 days and 97% by 35 days.
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Wall Street Reacts To Covid
A head-to-head study of all three authorized coronavirus vaccines in the United States finds the Moderna vaccine is slightly more effective than Pfizer’s in real-life use in keeping people out of the hospital, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine comes in third, but still provides 71% protection.
Who Can Get A Covid Booster Shot And When
Everyone 16 and older in the U.S. is eligible for a free booster shot, but there are restrictions based on age and how long its been since your primary dose.
You may not receive a booster shot until you have waited at least:
- J& J: Two months after your first and only dose
- Pfizer and Moderna: Six months after your second dose.
If youre 16 or 17 years old, youre permitted to receive only a Pfizer booster. If youre 18 or older, you may select any of the three boosters.
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How Are We Monitoring The Coronavirus Vaccines
Pfizer and Moderna have been monitoring immunity in people who were given their vaccines in the initial clinical trialsboth companies had reported strong overall efficacy at the six-month mark.
One thing researchers are monitoring in vaccine recipients is levels of antibodies, which are proteins produced by the bodys immune system when it detects harmful substances, and that are easily measured from blood samples. Antibodies are a really good marker for protection against infection, so we will be monitoring those levels for as long as we can measure them, says Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine.
I tell my family, ‘It’s great that youre vaccinated… But even the vaccines dont have 100% guarantees, so… you want to keep weighing the risks,'” says Yale Medicine infectious diseases expert Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS
A report in The New England Journal of Medicine in April showed that 33 participants who had received the Moderna vaccine during the Phase I trial had a gradual decline in antibody protectionand, based on the slope, Iwasaki says, that is hopeful news. If antibodies are going down very quickly, you would expect that to last for a short time. The slow decline raises hopes that the mRNA vaccines will be protective for at least a year, if not longer, she says.
This is a reason why the CDC recommends vaccinations for people who have had a COVID-19 infection as well as for those who have not.
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The Economist has collected what is possibly the largest set of vaccine results against the Delta variant, in terms of hospitalisation and symptomatic infection. We looked at results from a host of real-world and phase-three clinical trials of vaccines approved by American and European regulators, such as those made by AstraZeneca and Moderna, as well as shots made elsewhere in the world, including by Chinas Sinovac and Sinopharm, Indias Bharat Biotech, which makes Covaxin, and the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V. Our comparison is not perfect. Differences might arise from variations in the conduct of trials or the rates at which immunity wanes for different jabs. Vaccines whose trials were conducted later after they had been administered, or on more vulnerable populations, might appear worse than similarly protective jabs.
We found that vaccines continue to provide significant protection against symptomatic infection with the Delta variantall surpassed the 50% minimum threshold recommended by the World Health Organisation. And they provided even better protection against hospitalisation. But some results are more impressive than others.
These findings have implications for the trajectory of the pandemic. They make Chinas zero-covid strategy, for example, look even less tenable, since the two most widely used Chinese vaccines appear among the least effective at limiting transmission of the Delta variant.
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The Vaccine Is Here: Your Questions Answered
The new COVID-19 vaccine is here. But its still hard to know exactly what this will mean in our individual and collective lives.
For questionsbig and smallwe went to our foremost expert for a frank, socially distanced question-and-answer session. Onyema Ogbuagu, MBBCh, is a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist and the principal investigator of the COVID-19 vaccine studies supported by the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation at Yale School of Medicine, in partnership with the Yale New Haven Health System.
What Are The Side Effects Of Moderna’s Booster
Moderna says possible side effects for its booster shot are similar to those from the two primary doses, and include pain or swelling at the injection site, as well as fatigue, muscle pain, headache, fever, chills and nausea.
The good news is, according to the CDC, those who got the Moderna booster dose reported far fewer reactions than they did after the second dose of the vaccine.
Moderna’s booster shot is free of charge for all adults.
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How Do I Know Which Pharmacies Have Moderna Booster Shots Available
Boosters are available at roughly 80,000 locations across the US, including over 40,000 pharmacies. Some 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within five miles of where they live.
A free service backed by the CDC sends you information on vaccine sites when you text your ZIP code to this number: 438829. The response will show you COVID-19 vaccine locations in your area, along with the brands they carry for certain age groups, for instance, Moderna 18+. This can save you from having to call around, or show up to an appointment to find that your booster of choice isn’t available. The text message also offers a shortcut to make your appointment right from your phone screen.
In addition, you can check Vaccines.gov to see which vaccines are available where, or call 800-232-0233 for additional vaccine information.
Both Vaccines Are Highly Effective
Amesh A. Adalja, MD, infectious disease expert and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, emphasizes that both vaccines are crucial tools for curbing the pandemic.
Both vaccines are extremely good at protecting against what mattersserious disease, he told Verywell. Its difficult to make head-to-head comparisons because the Moderna vaccine is a higher dose than Pfizer and the doses are spaced further apart, which may explain higher efficacy seen.
While the percentages sound like there is a big difference between the two, Thomas Russo, MD, professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York, toldVerywell that they are deceiving, noting that the actual numbers show these vaccines perform similarly well.
The number of hospitalizations and infections per 1,000 people are extraordinarily low with both vaccines, he said. The data show how well they work. And, Russo added, booster shots will further augment the protection.
Reynold Panettieri, MD, vice chancellor for translational medicine and science at Rutgers University, told Verywell that people should absolutely not think that one mRNA vaccine is better than the other. The data show that both mRNA vaccines are incredibly successful at decreasing infection, he said.
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Could One Type Of Vaccine Last Longer Than Another
No one knows for sure whether one vaccine will last longer than another. Instead, one question to ask might be whether Pfizer and Modernas mRNA vaccines, which had an especially robust response, also have potential to be the longest lasting, Dr. Meyer says.
The two mRNA vaccines use a relatively new technology that delivers a tiny piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus into the body to provide instructions for making copies of spike proteins that will stimulate an immune response. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine takes a more traditional approach that involves an inactive adenovirus .
The mRNA vaccines are a novel tool that hasnt been widely rolled out with any other virus, and so far in clinical trials they have had a much more robust immune response, Dr. Meyer says. Whatever the answer to the question of which will last the longest, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines work similarly, so it seems likely that they will have a similar impact on immunity, she says.
Its also possible that the length of immunity is somewhat dependent on the patient, Dr. Meyer adds. While more research is needed, there could be variations in immune responses from person to person based on such factors as age, medical conditions, and medications they may be taking. Overall, though, the mRNA vaccines appear to be so effective that they level the playing field in terms of achieving protection from infection, says Dr. Meyer.
What Can We Do In The Meantime
Its critical that as many people as possible get their primary vaccination shots, Dr. Meyer says. In December 2021, the CDC endorsed a recommendation to choose the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, in response to concerns over rare blood clots associated with Johnson & Johnsons shot.
The good news is that Pfizer and Moderna made their mRNA vaccines easy to update, Dr. Meyer says. It just has to be tweaked a little bit, like having a computer code that needs a couple of minor edits. Its relatively easy to build. Its also important to follow the CDCs recommendations on booster shots.
The hope is that the case rate will go down and more people will be less likely to be exposed. That advice is especially important with the Delta and Omicron variants, which have proven to be more contagious than previous variants, prompting the CDC to issue stricter guidelines calling for everyonevaccinated or notto wear masks indoors in areas of high transmission.
Even if Delta and Omicron go away, I think those preventive measures will become even more important as the year passes, because potentially your immunity is going to wane over time, Dr. Meyer says.
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