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Booster Shots: What are they and who qualifies?

The questions on many Americans’ minds: Why do we need and what are booster shots? Weren’t the first round of shot(s) enough? The rationale of such an approach—distributing booster shots to those older than 65 and/or at “high risk of severe COVID-19” (CDPHE)–is sound. As we enter cold and flu season, we must take precautions such as booster shots to protect those considered most vulnerable in our communities. NPR’s Ashley Aubrey reported in an interview on September 5th that “Dr. Anthony Fauci presented data from Israel supporting a booster in adults 60 and older…it showed a significant reduction in the risk of infection and severe disease.”(Aubrey). Such data substantiates and contributes to the growing research that booster shots will continue to propel us toward new normalcy.

It is vital to note that the implementation of booster shots does not mean that the original shot(s) one received aren't working. Yale Medicine states that booster shots can be "tailored to target particular variants of the virus... [and continue to protect] against serious illness that would require hospitalization or cause death" (Macmillan). These booster shots are essential to boosting immunity as time passes from one's original vaccination date and as new variants of the Covid-19, such as the Delta Variant, become prevalent.

On October 21, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots. The CDC’s recommendations for booster shots for specific populations is an incredibly important step forward towards keeping Americans and the global community safe. The following groups are now eligible to receive a booster shot at least 6 months after their initial shot(s): “65 years and older, Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings, Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, [and] Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings” (CDC). I encourage all of Colorado’s youth to keep an eye out for CDC recommendations for youth to receive booster shots!

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