Coronavirus Opinion

The CDC must give guidance on COVID-19 booster shots

The CDC must give guidance on booster shots

Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

With more COVID-19 variants turning up, it’s time for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to let the public know if they will need booster shots to protect against these variants. 

As if the normal COVID-19 virus wasn’t bad enough, it is no different from other viruses and can mutate. While some variants start and fizzle out, some are here to stay, such as the Delta variant.

First discovered in India, the Delta variant is now 20 percent of all U.S. COVID-19 cases. Out of all the variants, Delta is the most transmissible, putting immunocompromised people in danger.

For some, the COVID-19 virus is like a bad cold or the flu. For others, it’s a long, strenuous and dangerous time with life long health issues to follow.

It’s important to be vaccinated against COVID-19, even if you’ve had it before. Natural immunity after the virus will not last forever and people have been reinfected before. 

Data has been released on the efficacy of the three major vaccines in the United States; Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Mixed vaccines

However, many people discuss how they are deciding to get Pfizer booster shots to follow up their single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

With talks from experts and publications about booster shots, some people are getting worried. Many people have been contacting their doctor about whether they should get a Pfizer shot to follow up their J&J. But most doctors won’t give recommendations without CDC guidance. Plus, the FDA hasn’t authorized mixed vaccines.

Additionally, publications have been publishing articles speculating about whether people will need COVID-19 booster shots. Booster shots would help keep people’s immunity up. Some people see a need for them because some experts are unsure how long the vaccine’s immunity will last.

While this may not have been a worry before, the pandemic is still going and there may be a need for longer immunity. Of course, studies are still being done, so hopefully, people will know more in the future. 

Thankfully, there are studies about the vaccines’ effectiveness against the COVID-19 variants. Studies are done with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson yielding promising results. Of course, these studies are preliminary, but still reassuring. 

The UK has already started planning for booster shots and their population is proportionally far more vaccinated than the U.S. The United States has not vaccinated about half of its population.

The world may never fully eradicate this virus, so the CDC needs to provide guidance on whether people who want to avoid illness should get a booster shot.

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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