Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

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By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently granted Emergency Use Authorizations for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster doses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup followed suit and recommended a booster dose especially for persons over 65 and to persons with chronic medical conditions.

These decisions, as well as the authorization to allow for mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers for boosters, will allow more Californians to increase and maintain a robust protection against infection heading into the winter months.

  • The use of a single booster dose (at half the dose of an initial vaccine) of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine that may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals:
  • 65 years of age and older
  • 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19
  • 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • The use of a single booster dose of the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • Heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster doses are authorized. This means that any vaccine type may be used as a booster irrespective of the initial vaccine received.


Why do I need a booster shot?

COVID-19 booster doses reignite the immune response that got initiated by the first two doses (or one of Dose of Johnson & Johnson). Many vaccines are given in a series of three or more doses to have an optimal effect (i.e. Hepatitis B or MMR).

Booster doses for Pfizer and Moderna should follow the second dose by at least six months.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be followed by a second dose 2 months after the initial dose.

If I need a booster shot, does that mean the vaccines aren't working?

No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, waning levels of antibodies can lead to reduced protection, especially among persons over 65 or individuals of any age with chronic medical conditions.

Where do I get a booster shot?

Booster shots can be obtained at local pharmacies and in some instances, through your primary care provider. is another option to schedule a booster.

It is perfectly safe to receive a COVID-19 booster and the Influenza vaccine at the same time.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health website has a list of pharmacies and community events that provide boosters here.

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Andrea Smith Nov 05, 2021 12:33 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

BR3220, please explain exactly how and why we are being "lied to". Who is doing the lying, who is in on it, who knows it's a lie, and how far and wide does this conspiracy fan out? Every single doctor recommending it? Are they in on it? All med professionals? Every politician? Is it one big conspiracy that everyone except us, are in on and can keep a secret about? Or is it just a few duping the entire medical profession as well. Please, do explain your theory because I want to hear it soup to nuts.

sacjon Nov 05, 2021 12:36 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

BR3220 - Why do you care what the FDA does or doesn't do? They're "lying," right? You say the whole government is lying to us, but claim it's not safe because "there is still no FDA Approval?" Which is it? Also, stop lying about the FDA, it was approved in August.

a-1636148559 Nov 05, 2021 02:42 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Comirnaty is just the brand name of the Pfizer shot, it is the same one that has been available this whole time, it is FDA approved. Please stop spreading false information.

pstarSR Nov 05, 2021 04:37 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

hahah what kinda of idiot comes in here and trys to tell people there is NO FDA approval. wow, like we dont have the internet ourselves? dont feed the trolls

MarcelK Nov 05, 2021 05:03 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Anyone with an IQ above room temperature understands that the first two did work, but that effectiveness can wane over time. Aside from that, everything else in that comment is ... also nonsense.

Alexblue Nov 05, 2021 06:26 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

BR you are relentless in your intentional disregard for the explanations that have been given to you over and over and over.

Why don't you counter them? No, it doesn't square with your unhinged conspiracy thinking--so stick your fingers in your ears and LALALALALALALA.

Here you go, one more time. The first two work. They don't provide 100% protection, we've known that all along. The efficacy degrades a bit over time. Therefore the booster is prudent.

If I give you two choices in Vegas, one gives you a ninety percent chance of winning and one gives you a thirty percent chance of winning you know damned well what you would pick. The vaccine is the 90% bet, going without is the 30% bet. And no, these numbers are demonstrative of a simple fact--you are far safer if you are vaccinated.

GeneralTree Nov 05, 2021 07:18 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

It sounds like you consult the media for health advice. Most people consult their physician or pediatrician. Our family doctors advised our family to vaccinate.

GeneralTree Nov 05, 2021 07:17 PM
Is It Time to Get Your COVID-19 Booster Shot?

It is unless you believe COVID is a hoax, the vaccine is satanical, the vaccine contains a 5G virus, or if you are naïve enough to believe that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine will save you. Glad to see 5-11 year old's will be required to vaccinate in the fall too. I wonder how many people will move out of state or homeschool - if they don't vaccinate their children - I'm perfectly OK with exodus from the state or staying in a home school situation.

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