There is a lot of discussion now about whether all adults should get a booster for COVID, even if they are at a low risk for complications. If you have risk factors such as increased age or certain medical conditions that put you at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19, or you are in a job that puts you at higher risk of contacting people with COVID-19, you should definitely get the booster. However, there are many young and healthy people who are wondering if they should get the booster shot. While I can’t answer that question for everyone individually, here are some my thoughts about this:
The bottom line is that if you are 18 years or older and want to get a booster, you should be able to get one. We will have both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the office, so call for an appointment.
The Omicron variant
Just a quick word about the recent news this weekend regarding the discovery of the Omicron variant, initially seen in South Africa but now being found in many other countries around the world. Although many people are worried about this variant because it has so many mutations on the spike protein, we don’t know yet at this point if it is much more transmissible or possibly more deadly than the current Delta variant. More information will continue to be coming out within the next week or two. Remember that even if we do see more people that are hospitalized with a new variant, it does not mean that it is more deadly – it could just be more transmissible. If the old virus causes 10% of people to be hospitalized and it infects 1000 people, we will see 100 people in the hospital. However, if the new variant also causes 10% of people to be hospitalized but it is much more transmissible, it could infect 10,000 people, and we would therefore see 1000 people in the hospital. People should not panic at this point, but I would continue to wear masks indoors if you are going to be in close proximity with many other people. While that is true that the face masks we wear do not provide 100% protection against transmitting or becoming infected with coronavirus, it is certainly better than not wearing a mask. Furthermore, wearing a mask is respectful to the people around you, as they may be at higher risk for complications from the infection, and wearing a mask decreases the risk of you transmitting anything to them. Stay tuned, as more information about the Omnicron variant should be discovered in the next few weeks.