Just when we thought we might return to some semblance of real life and were feeling confident and safe with our COVID-19 vaccines, the Delta variant reared its ugly head and now there’s talk of a booster shot. Some feel frustrated that they’ll need more needles in their arms. Some are grateful for any additional protection offered against the virus that has ravished our economy, hospitals, and mental health for nearly 18 months now. But one thing is for certain: like with the original vaccines, when it comes to the booster shot, Americans have questions.
ABC News reports that roughly 1 million Americans have already received a booster shot. There are even rumors of people finding sneaky ways to get a third dose of their original vaccine as their own form of the booster. While some Americans remain wary and even afraid of vaccines, others want all the antibodies they can get. Like with many things about this pandemic, the booster shot feels rushed, but it needs to keep up with COVID-19 cases, which are moving even faster. So, here’s what we know for now about the COVID-19 booster shot.
Why get a booster shot?
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a statement in August explaining the need for the COVID-19 booster shot. In the statement, the HHS explained that it is becoming apparent that the effectiveness of the original COVID-19 vaccines begins to decrease after some time. They write, “The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.” They note their concern for at-risk groups potentially getting re-infected and requiring hospitalization without a booster shot.