COVID-19 booster shot available for everyone 18 and older

Lisa Dannemiller, Kent State’s interim chief university physician, explains how booster shots work.Courtesy of Kent State University

Haley Kisling Reporter

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the expansion for booster shots for everyone ages 18 and older that have received their full COVID-19 vaccine. 


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the expansion was justified by real-world evidence and currently available data. The CDC’s recommendation, as well as the FDA’s authorization, will help provide increased protection against COVID-19.


“We usually do booster vaccines when someone has received the initial vaccine to help your body increase the immune response to whatever it is you are vaccinating against,” said Dr. Lisa Dannemiller, the chief university physician at Kent State.


The expansion for booster shots was endorsed on Nov. 29 by the CDC director Rochelle Walensky. This expansion allows people to get their booster either six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial Johnson and Johnson vaccine.


“I got vaccinated because the risk of infecting my grandparents with the virus was scarier to me than the risk of getting sick from the vaccine,” said Halena Sepulveda, senior journalism major at Kent State. 


Getting vaccinated allows us to fight the disease, and with the recent emergence of the Omicron variant, the need for testing and protection against COVID-19 is increasing. 


“We have seen that the coronavirus isn’t just going to go away,” Sepulveda said. “So, I feel like it’s super important to do anything we can to help combat it even if that means we have to keep getting boosters.”


Once you get vaccinated your body has developed an antibody and immune response, but when you get another shot it reactivates your body’s immune system to fight the disease.


“We know that people’s immunity has decreased if it’s been longer than six months from when they got the initial vaccination,” Dr. Dannemiller said. ”And with the new variant that continues to come out we don’t know if the vaccine will be effective against it 100%, but if you get a booster dose that is going to increase the antibodies in your immune system.”


When getting a booster dose it is recommended to get the initial series you were vaccinated with. However, the COVID-19 vaccines can be interchangeable.


Haley Kisling is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].