Opinion: Booster Up

North Allegheny held a booster clinic, and for good reason.

Vile+of+the+COVID-19+booster+vaccination

photo courtesy of National Council on Aging

Vile of the COVID-19 booster vaccination

Lorenzo Zottoli, Senior Staff Writer

North Allegheny School District recently held an open booster clinic on Thursday January 20th, in the NAI Cafeteria. Giant Eagle took charge of administering the vaccine, with the Pfizer vaccine available to students ages 12-17. Students aged 18 and older could select their preferred booster while registering. While receiving this booster vaccine was optional, it is important to consider the following argument.

As science naturally changes and alters in response to new data, our response to COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and what was considered normal last year is nowhere close to normal now. Preliminary studies prove that new variants such as Delta and Omicron are breaking through the original two-dose vaccines. By getting a booster, restoring protection is highly increased.

If you have received your primary vaccines, with the second dose being at least five months ago–whether it be Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, or Moderna–you are eligible to get a booster vaccine. Think of COVID-19 vaccines as a flu shot–although we received the flu shot last year, we continue to go back year after year to get our dose. COVID-19 vaccines are no different. U.S. Surgeon General Murthy, M.D, shared his point of view at a White House press briefing that “even highly effective vaccines become less effective overtime.”

Even highly effective vaccines become less effective overtime ”

— U.S Surgeon General Murthy, M.D

Booster shots are proven to enhance protection against new COVID-19 variants. The CDC found that unvaccinated individuals are five times more likely to test positive than vaccinated individuals. Anna Durbin, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of public health, discovered that unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals.

By getting a booster shot, not only are you protecting yourself, but you are also protecting the health and safety of others. Due to booster shots, the infectious spread of COVID-19 and in return, deaths from the disease drastically dropped within middle-aged and senior citizen adults who got their booster. The most staggering takeaway, however, was the drop in cases found in 16-29 year olds no longer having a high transmission rate after being fully vaccinated and boosted.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only thirty percent of American adults who are able to receive a booster have done so. The most vulnerable age group, ages 65 and above, have shown that only half of the eligible individuals have received a booster shot. 

So why not? Why would you not get a booster or a vaccine? Many fear the side effects that may arise from getting the vaccine, but there’s nothing to fear. The most common side effects you will face are no different than any other shot. Some soreness, potentially a headache or muscle pain, but within a day, the side effects are all gone. 

With over one million new cases a day, being exposed to COVID-19 and contracting the disease becomes a bigger issue for everyone. By being vaccinated and obtaining a booster shot, the chances of testing positive go down, symptoms are lessened, and recovery happens sooner.

As the pandemic continues to strongly move forward in the winter months, now more than ever is the time to choose to get vaccinated and boosted. We all have a job to do.

According to North Allegheny Senior High School nurse Sherry Stamp, just above seventy-five percent of students have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and the percentage is only increasing. Data on the booster shots is unknown yet, but is expected to have a high turnaround rate with students who are already fully vaccinated. The accessibility of the booster is vast, and easy to sign up for. So, I urge you to do your part and get vaccinated.

 

 

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Editors’ note: All opinions expressed on The Uproar are a reflection solely of the beliefs of the bylined author and not the journalism program at NASH.  We continue to welcome school-appropriate comments and guest articles.