Here come the booster shots

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The FDA has already been sending up smoke signals indicating that they plan to give final approval to at least two of the vaccines in the near future, possibly as soon as early September. The question has already been raised as to whether or not they would authorize a third booster shot for fully vaccinated people and most of you were probably already guessing that the answer would be yes. That seems to have been mostly confirmed last night, as the White House is now expected to “recommend” a booster shot for everyone eight months after they were first fully vaccinated. But who is this policy coming from? Shouldn’t these guidelines be coming straight from the FDA or at least the CDC? We’ll find out more when the final decision is released, but COVID vaccines are apparently going to become part of everyone’s lives whether you’re ready for them or not, particularly if you want to keep your job or go out to a restaurant. (NY Post)

The Biden administration is set to announce that Americans who got a COVID-19 vaccine should receive a booster shot eight months after becoming fully vaccinated, officials said late Monday.

The booster doses would likely not be made available until mid-to-late September, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to grant full approval to the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, sources told the Associated Press.

The announcement, which could be made as soon as this week, would be the clearest signal from health officials that the coronavirus is endemic in the US — and that flu season is now “flu and COVID-19 season” for the foreseeable future.

The CDC did vote this week to suggest booster shots for everyone over the age of 12, but only for those with compromised immune systems. The White House announcement will apply to everyone of sufficient age to get a shot. Of course, just last month the FDA and CDC put out a joint statement saying that fully vaccinated people do not need a booster shot “at this time.” Perhaps they were signaling that the time would be coming sooner or later.

I’m on the fence about this currently. It’s encouraging to hear that booster shots are supposedly proving very effective in Israel already. But at the same time, there are nagging questions that keep running through my head, none of which are helped by the fact that Fauci and the CDC keep moving the goalposts and changing their positions every week or two.

As I’ve shared here before, my wife and I both made the decision to get vaccinated back in the spring and we did so for our own reasons. I’m in the 60+ age category with previous medical issues that left me in a position where if I caught the virus I was probably just going to die. On top of that, my wife was working in a vaccination pod being exposed to unvaccinated people on a daily basis. I had serious concerns about these new vaccines but decided that it was probably better to just roll the dice and do it. Of course, I’ve never suggested anyone else do it based on my experience. That’s up to you.

But the booster? I was originally assured that the two doses of Pfizer that I got would make me 97% immune. Then later, after Delta started making the rounds, I was told that the rate was plummeting so I might catch COVID anyway, but I probably wouldn’t die or wind up in the hospital. And now we’re being told that the protection is fading faster than anticipated and we should run out and volunteer for a third round of this stuff being pumped into our systems. This goes far beyond a case of bad marketing. It’s a messaging disaster that we’re just hoping won’t turn into a medical disaster.

I’m also wondering how this whole booster scheme will be melded into current and future government policy and private sector regulations. If you’re vaccinated but don’t get the booster, does your immunity passport expire? How would they even track that when your medical data isn’t supposed to be stored in any sort of federal database? If your employer has already made vaccinations mandatory and you have a CDC card showing you received the first round, is it a situation where you’ll get to keep your job for now but if you can’t produce an updated card eight months later you still get fired?

If anyone thinks we’re out of the woods in terms of all of the government and private sector vaccination mandates, think again. They may plan on keeping us running on this hamster wheel for a very long time to come.