HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - More people than ever in Hampton Roads are now eligible to get their COVID-19 booster shot, but many people have questions.
Right now, certain people can get booster shots at pharmacies and clinics around the region after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded eligibility.
News 3 met up with Eric Hause from Norfolk, who was one of the first in line to get the shot.
“I feel like if you have the opportunity, do it,” said Hause.
Hause said he felt side effects from his COVID booster shot.
“I could not move. [I had] muscle aches similar to my second COVID shot in terms of side effects,” said Hause.
But he said he's glad he did.
“For me, as a 60-year-old man, it’s worth it because I have some pre-existing conditions. I’m older. I’m not willing to take that risk. I want to make sure I get every shot available to humankind,” said Hause.
According to the CDC, "For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, today’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine. More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves – and their children, families, loved ones, and communities– vulnerable.
Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging."
Dr. Ryan Light with Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group explained that the CDC said you can also mix booster shots, so if you had a bad reaction the first time, you have the option to try a different shot.
Hause said he is glad to have an extra layer of protection.
“That’s one of the great things about living in the 21st century, we have solutions to these problems,” said Hause.
“Today’s action demonstrates that science and the currently available data continue to guide the FDA’s decision-making for COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic. After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “This pandemic is dynamic and evolving, with new data about vaccine safety and effectiveness becoming available every day. As we learn more about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, including the use of a booster dose, we will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing science and keep the public informed.”
If you need a booster shot, click here to see where you can find one.