Complete Guide to COVID-19 Booster Injections
The recall of Moderna, another mRNA vaccine, received the green light from health authorities on October 21.
The Moderna booster is available to the same groups that qualify for the Pfizer shot, including:
- Adults 65 years of age and over and residents of long-term care facilities.
- People aged 18 to 64 with underlying health conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19.
- People aged 18 to 64 whose jobs or living conditions increase their exposure to COVID-19, including healthcare workers, teachers and people living and working in prisons and homeless shelters.
- Anyone 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 single injection vaccine at least two months ago and wants a Moderna booster.
When can you get it?
If you have been vaccinated with the two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna: You can get the Moderna booster at least six months after the second shot, which means many people who were vaccinated last winter and early spring can go ahead and get a boost.
If you have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson (J&J): You are eligible for the Moderna booster at least two months after your first J&J vaccine.
What are the side effects?
The Moderna booster is different from the Pfizer and J&J booster because it represents half the dose (50 micrograms) of the initial vaccine.
Even still, studies show that the side effects of this lower dose are similar to those many experienced after injections one and two in the series, the most common being:
- Pain at the injection site
- Muscle pain
- Articular pain
Swollen armpit lymph nodes were seen more frequently after the booster dose of Moderna than after the two-dose primary series, according to the FDA.
What are the rare reactions associated with this vaccine?
Much like Pfizer’s vaccine, Moderna’s product has also been linked to myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart). These cases are rare and have mainly occurred in young men (30 years and under) after the second dose of the vaccine.
Other serious side effects can occur, but they are rare, including anaphylaxis, which is a serious allergic reaction that can occur after any vaccination.
Can I be boosted with another brand?
Yes. If you are eligible for the Moderna recall but do not have access to it, or want a Pfizer or J&J recall, this is an option, based on new guidelines from the FDA and CDC.
Preliminary results from a federally funded study show that mixing and boosting vaccines can produce a higher level of antibodies, which is a measure of the immune response, and no safety concerns exist. ‘was identified.
Giving people the go ahead to mix and match products also makes using the booster more convenient, especially in areas where options may be more limited. However, if you plan to mix up your booster, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first, experts say.