Third Dose of Vaccination


Annika Nordquist, In-Depth Writer

Despite all of the countless debates surrounding the ongoing pandemic, the administration of vaccines has proved to be the safest and most beneficial way to curb the spread of Covid-19.  Studies conducted by the FDA have shown that the effectiveness of the primary series of existing COVID-19 vaccines decreases over time.  Receiving a COVID booster shot elongates and strengthens the temporary immunity given by the primary series of COVID vaccines.  


The FDA has approved the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson booster shots for individuals who meet eligibility requirements. Patients 65 years of age or older, 50 to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years of age and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot if they have obtained a primary Covid-19 vaccine series.  Immunocompromised patients 18 years of age and older, along with those who work or live in high-risk settings, may receive the booster dose six months after the completion of a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series. Recipients of the Janssen Johnson & Johnson vaccine who are 18 years and older should receive the booster at least 2 months after receiving the first dose.  The FDA has also authorized “mixing and matching” of the booster shots.  Patients who received any of the three series of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines may choose which booster to receive.  


In a study conducted by the FDA, side effects of the booster compare with side effects of the initial series of COVID vaccines.  Pain at the site of injection, joint and muscle pain, headaches, presence of swollen lymph nodes in the arm of injection, nausea, vomiting and fevers were among the most common side effects presented.  


For the world, the authorization of Covid-19 booster shots is a heavily encouraging milestone.  The booster will provide extra security, stronger immunity and peace of mind to those who have a high risk of contracting and severely suffering from Covid-19.  The third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will not only save lives but will also build a collective resilience against Covid that will enhance our knowledge.