What to Know About the Side Effects of the COVID Booster Shot Update – NBC Chicago

With a new COVID-19 vaccine targeting recent variants surfacing this month, many are wondering what’s different about these vaccines and what side effects might be experienced after being boosted.

The new vaccines are known as “bivalent”, which means that the new doses contain half of the original vaccine recipe, with half of the vaccine providing protection against the new variants of omicron, BA.4 and BA .5.

Vaccines have continued to show effective protection, even against different strains, and now experts are hoping that new vaccines can go even further and provide additional protection.

With only about 1.5% of people eligible to receive an updated booster getting one, there is limited data so far on the potential side effects of booster shots.

However, health experts suggest that side effects are likely to be similar to previous doses, with arm pain, fatigue, headache and nausea being reported as side effects.

With such a small number of Americans having received the dose so far, some health experts are expressing concern that cases are expected to rise as the weather cools across much of the country.

“I would expect a much higher proportion of Americans to have received the booster at this point,” Dr. Scott Roberts of Yale Medicine told NBC News.

As the fall season begins and cooler weather sets in, health officials are urging recalls in a bid to prevent another possible surge.

“Colder weather is coming and residents are starting to move indoors, which is traditionally when we see respiratory virus rates rise. Don’t wait to get vaccinated this year. Do it now to protect yourself, your family, and our entire city,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a news release Friday.

If you’re planning to get the latest vaccine or aren’t sure, here’s what you need to know, including possible side effects, where vaccines are offered, and who should get them.

What are the possible side effects ?

Side effects caused by boosters may not be so different from your last dose.

“We just don’t have any data on that. [yet]essentially giving two vaccines in one injection – but biologically I just wouldn’t expect the side effects, severity or safety profile of the injections to be any different from current mRNA vaccines and boosters,” said said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of an independent advisory panel for the United States Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC Make It.

The Food and Drug Administration states that those who receive the bivalent vaccine “may experience side effects commonly reported by individuals who receive licensed or approved monovalent COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.”

Among the side effects reported by study participants were:

  • pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • join the pain
  • chills
  • swollen lymph nodes in the arm where the shot was given
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fever

Side effects were similar for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and largely reflect the side effects expected for earlier doses.

The CDC said side effects from the third shot were also “similar to the two-dose series.”

The most common symptoms then included fatigue and pain at the injection site, but “most symptoms were mild to moderate”.

As with previous doses of the vaccine, the CDC notes that “serious side effects are rare, but can occur.”

Who is eligible?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only those who have completed a full COVID vaccine series — which consists of two Moderna or Pfizer shots, or one Johnson & Johnson shot — are eligible. Additionally, the plans have certain age restrictions, which are listed below:

  • People 18 and older are eligible to receive the updated COVID reminder from Pfizer or Moderna
  • Only Pfizer booster doses can be given to people aged 12 to 17
  • Although those under 18 are eligible for the new COVID booster, they are not eligible for the dose of Moderna

Where can I go to get the updated Booster?

Walgreens and CVS are among those offering updated booster shots, along with several other retail chains. Walgreens encourages anyone who is eligible to book an appointment through the Walgreens app, by calling 1-800-WALGREENS, or logging in online. Walk-in visits are permitted, but appointments are preferred.

CVS is also encouraging those interested to book an appointment online, according to a press release about the rollout earlier this month. At the time, CVS said the initial supply of updated boosters was limited.

Will children soon be eligible?

Moderna announced on Friday that it had asked the FDA to clear its recall for children, explaining that it had filed two separate clearance requests — one for ages 12 to 17 and another for children ages 6 to 12. 11 years old.

This week, the CDC said it plans to recommend updated boosters for children sometime in early to mid-October. Pfizer informed a CDC advisory committee that it plans to ask the FDA to clear the boosters for children ages 5 to 11 in early October.

New COVID vaccines designed to specifically target the omicron variant and its highly contagious subvariants raise many questions, including some of those wondering if they can still get the updated booster even if they already had a vaccine. reminder?

Can you mix and match your booster shot?

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend mixing products for your primary series doses, boosters can be mixed.

Here’s the CDC’s advice on mixing and matching boosters, based on the shots you’ve already received.

  • People 18 and older can get a different product for a booster than they got for their primary series, as long as it’s Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
  • Teens ages 12-17 can get a different product for a booster than they got for their main series, as long as it’s Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • Children 5-11 years old who received a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series should also get Pfizer-BioNTech for a booster.
  • Individuals 12 years and older can only receive the updated (bivalent) mRNA booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). They can no longer get an original (monovalent) mRNA recall.
  • Novavax is not cleared for use as a booster dose at this time.

NBC Chicago

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