A CVS pharmacist prepares to administer a shot of Comirnaty, the new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, at the Baldwin Park store on New Broad Street in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.
The height of the pandemic may very well be behind us, but COVID-19 remains a top health concern.
The latest updated boosters offer protection from the dominant EG.5 subvariants and other strains are out there, and medical officials once again are encouraging Chicago area residents to get a jab as soon as possible.
Yes, the public service announcements may seen redundant. But the constant reminders are necessary when so many Americans are afflicted with vaccine fatigue.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is advising his constituents under 65 to stay away from the newest vaccines, and other science-denying skeptics aren’t the only ones likely to blow off the shot.
While 42% of adults said they would definitely or probably get an updated booster, only 20% got the dose offered last year, according to a recent survey cited by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The thought of nursing the possible side effects of another injection is one excuse we’ve heard trotted out for not making the boosters a priority. And deaths from coronavirus are down. But those arguments and other excuses don’t hold water, especially when there is growing concern that vaccine fatigue could be a major barrier from maintaining immunity in the general population, according to a study published in Nature Medicine in March.
If that isn’t motivation enough, get the boosters to keep your vulnerable loved ones safe.
Hospitalizations from coronavirus —mostly senior citizens and children — have increased within the last few weeks. As experts have noted, the effectiveness of the vaccines can eventually wear off. And very few people are wearing masks in public, which might make it easier for COVID-19 to spread.
“Thankfully we’re in a different place in terms of COVID-19 deaths, but we’re not at zero,” Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious diseases doctor and deputy editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association, told the American Medical Association earlier this year.
Chicagoans must get with the program and get the booster and make sure everyone in their families who is six months or older does too. It also doesn’t hurt to get a flu shot on the same day. Those who are over 60 should also ask their doctors if they should get the vaccine for RSV to help avoid 2022’s “tripledemic.”
We’re all shot from the sting of the needles and vaccine after-effects. But saving more lives and keeping others from falling ill is worth it, no matter how inconvenient.
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