What do we know about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots?

COVID+Vaccine+Vials

Griffin Eckstein

COVID Vaccine Vials

Madeline Moran, Special Features/Entertainment Editor

In the past months, a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been highly discussed, however, a large number of people may not be entirely informed on what that means.
The technical definition of a booster shot is an additional vaccine dose that is periodically needed in order to do its job and ‘boost’ the immune system.
The CDC says, “An additional dose may prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 in people who may not have responded to their initial vaccine series.” The word “may” advises all audiences to take this statement with a grain of salt. It is expected to help, although the results are not definitive. According to Pfizer, out of those who were a part of the first phase clinical trial, the “third dose elicited significantly higher neutralizing antibodies against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus”.
For now, federal health officials are monitoring the side effects as well as the potential risks and benefits of the booster shot. The benefits seem to be outweighing the potential risks. The side effects are very similar to that of the previous two vaccine shots. Some of the side effects that are being watched range from fatigue and pain at the injection site, to myocarditis and heart-swelling. However, the more severe side effects have shown up in a very small number of people.
COVID-19 Booster shots are expected to be released beginning the week of September 20th and offered to individuals who received their second vaccine dose at least 8 months prior.