Here is my last post on boosters for a while. I’m adding my vote of confidence in getting the new bivalent booster. I’ve written previously about what these new boosters bring to the table. I agree with the majority of experts who think the small risks and unknowns are outweighed by the benefits: less hospitalization, death, long Covid, collateral damage to the body, and doing something again for the common good. Kids are back at school, and they are starving for normalcy… which means the typical day care and school virus factories are back in business.
In that previous post I ran a poll asking if you plan to get the new booster. I think Examined readers, especially those who participate online, are exceptional in many ways! The sample of voters is obviously a self-selected bunch who are highly motivated to read about health. But I don’t think any other doctor’s poll would result in 97% of respondents voting that they either definitely or most likely plan on getting the bivalent booster. Too legit!
Here’s me at 9:05 AM this morning at a CVS in South Philly, with a Moderna bivalent mRNA booster newly injected intramuscularly into my left deltoid (or what is left of it now that I’m 47 and working in an office).
I got the booster in my left arm each time. Some studies have shown that it is better to do booster shots in the same arm as previous jabs. A sort of local immune memory kicks in more efficiently and productively, with higher antibody levels found than if arms are alternated. But not a big deal if you switch around, they still work great.
I’ve had a lot of questions about timing the booster, especially for those who recently had Covid. Ask your doctor for their opinion, or better yet read through the newest CDC guidelines on staying up to date. But more about this at the end of this post…
Tonight I have a very low grade temperature increase, a little soreness, and a mild headache. I’m still working. I usually get through these shots more easily than some others, so I know that also makes it easier for me to say “go for it.” Complications like myocarditis have generally been rare, and less frequent with boosters compared to the original series.
Reinfections are pretty common from what I’m observing. I am definitely worried by the perpetual Covid grind that we are accepting. We are asking a lot of these vaccines, and daring the virus to keep mutating, which it is. Every shot we get before infection has so far been shown to broaden the immune system’s capability to recognize and neutralize variants.
This is a free shot for everyone. It’s likely to be the last free one. These mRNA shots are still an historic technological and medical achievement. Getting them for free is kind of like someone giving you a free iPhone back in the 1990’s.
We are also very privileged to have these designer BA.4/BA.5 shots. As of today, the U.S. is the only country in the world that has these shots, approved and going into arms. Europe, the UK, and Canada are using boosters based on the BA.1 Omicron variant.
The bivalent boosters are now the only type of booster you can get, or would want to get anyway, unless you are <12 yo. The new shots are still not approved for this age group. We plan to have our daughter get the new booster when she can… just like every other recommended immunization.
From New England Journal Watch: “Animal and preclinical human studies, both for these agents and for similar bivalent vaccines targeting earlier viral variants, have confirmed excellent antibody production against both ancestral virus and variant strains.”
“Both new vaccines are intended for use at least 2 months after a previous vaccination (whether a primary series or a first or second booster). A longer interval between vaccinations might improve booster immunogenicity. Many experts suggest waiting at least 3 months before boosting after a natural infection. Coadministration with influenza vaccine is encouraged.”
And finally: “Clinicians will have to make individual decisions with patients about the best timing for these boosters. Patients planning to attend a high-risk event in the early fall might decide to get a booster a few weeks beforehand. Others might prefer to wait till late fall or early winter in anticipation of the cold-weather surge in respiratory infections. In the end, most answers to uncertainties about the timing and performance of the new boosters in all the many age, health, and vaccine-experienced subgroups of recipients awaits both clinical trial and real-world data.”
And if you do decide to go ahead and get that booster, here is a free sticker from me to you. Not as cool as a free shot, but still… It might work on Facebook or Instagram. Just don’t tattoo this anywhere, you might regret it a few years from now. Or days from now. Or while you are getting it.
Good night, and let me know how your bivalent booster goes, if you do get one :)
I love the sticker! 👍👍👍
We will get ours soon as we get home😀