CDC broadens booster shot eligibility

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded individuals’ eligibility for the COVID-19 booster vaccine, meaning some students and staff are now qualified.

“I am glad that booster shots are becoming available for the public and that more people are eligible to get them,” senior Paige Zagumny said. “I am hoping the booster shot helps with COVID-19, especially since it is winter time and the holidays are coming.”

The CDC recommends that people over 18 who are immunocompromised and have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine six months or more ago, or Johnson & Johnson two months ago, are eligible for the booster shot.

“I got my third dose when it was first announced and first reported by the CDC that people could  get it,” senior Saba Ali said. “I went on the CVS website to see if I could get it and they asked a bunch of questions to see if I could qualify. I did qualify because I am immunocompromised.”

On Jan. 4 the federal vaccine mandate will go into place and COVID-19 vaccines will be required for federal employees.

“I was very excited about the [booster shot] announcement,” English teacher Jeanette Rooks said. “I am very excited. I had COVID-19 a year ago and [it has been] about six months since my second dose, so I’m definitely due for the booster shot —  I am just waiting for the day where I can [get it].”

The CDC director has also given the green light for kids 5 to 11 to get the Pfizer shot. Researchers have said that there is still potential for a new variant, which has led to the recommendation for booster shots.

“I think it’s really important that we are protecting people through vaccinations,” Rooks said. “One of my reasons to get vaccinated as a teacher was not just about me, it was about protecting students, too.”

People who received a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series, are over the age of 18 and who work or live in high-risk settings are eligible for the booster.

“Considering I got my COVID-19 shot a while ago, I believe I am eligible [for] a booster shot, especially with my job at Starbucks,” Zagumny said. “Due to how many people I am around and prepare food and drinks for, I am hoping [the booster vaccine] gives me and other people [who know] that I have the booster shot peace of mind.”