Answer your questions about another COVID-19 booster
Answer your questions about another COVID-19 booster

Answer your questions about another COVID-19 booster

The average number of new COVID-19 cases per week in North Carolina has been rising by about 4,500 new cases since last week. This comes when the COVID-19 death toll in the United States exceeded one million on May 4, the highest in the world that has been recorded.

In North Carolina, 77 percent of adults are vaccinated. However, only 55 percent have at least one booster shot.

According to data from the CDC in February, the risk of dying from COVID-19 was 20 times higher for unvaccinated people than for those who were vaccinated and boosted.

Here’s what you need to know about getting the second COVID-19 booster shot:

David Wohl, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases, said it is important to get boosted when available.

“People should realize that getting vaccinated, and especially being boosted, protects you from getting infected and even only mildly ill and probably protects you from long-term COVID. More and more data are showing that,” Wohl said.

Wohl said experts have seen people not being hospitalized right now, as might be expected, with more cases.

The second COVID-19 booster is now available for people 50 and older, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Those who are 12 years or older and moderately or severely immunocompromised can also get it.

In either case, the recipients must be at least four months away from their first booster shot.

Finally, anyone who has received two shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago can receive it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website also offers one tool that it says is “to determine when or if you (or your child) can get one or more COVID-19 boosters.”

It is not yet clear due to lack of funds
granted for vaccination in Congress, Wohl said.

“Right now, I think the administration would love that you could be boosted because we’re on the rise, and you would probably respond to a fourth dose better than older people would,” Wohl said. “But there is probably a concern that there is not enough money.”

Wohl said countries like Israel and Australia have been aggressive with vaccine research.

There was a examination recently published in Israel comparing people 60 years of age and older who received three doses compared to four doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The study showed that individuals with four shots were significantly more protected against COVID-19 in just six weeks than those with three shots.

The protection against serious illness, which was already good for those with three shots, climbed even higher for those who got four.

With the current increase in cases occurring in North Carolina, it is important to follow practices from earlier in the pandemic.

Phillip Grimm-Oropesa is the pharmacy manager at CVS on Franklin Street.

“If you feel uncomfortable, keep wearing a mask. Definitely, if you have a fever, chills, feel uncomfortable, then continue to social distance,” Grimm-Oropesa said. “It’s about what you think is your risk. It’s just about being smart and confident.”

According to Dr. Wohl infects each person infected with an average of three to four other people. He said that if anyone has access to the second booster and has received the other three vaccines, he sees no reason not to get the fourth shot.

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