I got my Pfizer COVID vaccine booster — Bill Gates didn’t call me

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster

On 14 April 2022, I got my Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. As with the first three shots (those were all from Moderna), I felt nothing other than a bit of a sore arm. I decided to with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster rather than getting a fourth Moderna shot because I kind of wanted to mix up the antigens a bit so that I had better protection. But I could have been just as happy going with the Moderna booster.

Now my immune system is scientifically boosted to handle whatever SARS-CoV-2 has for me. I’m ready to kick its sorry butt for even thinking about infecting me.

Why did I get the booster?

  • Because it’s safe.
  • Because the booster shots protect me against COVID-19 even more.
  • Because there is evidence that the original series of shots have waning immunity.
  • Because it’s the only way to boost my immune system against the coronavirus.
  • Because I know that vaccines are more powerful than pseudoscientific supplements and quackery.
  • Because the CDC recommends it.
  • Because it was free.
  • Because I want to do the right thing for my own health and to protect others.

I don’t know if boosters will be necessary every few months or years. But this virus is so resilient and mutates so frequently, I am willing to bet we will need frequent boosters for any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In fact, early evidence appears to indicate we might need a second booster for the Omicron variant.

person getting vaccinated
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Again, I experienced no side effects of any sort other than a tender arm. My 5G iPhone isn’t working any better. My heart is functioning quite well. Everything that was working before getting the booster is still working well now.

The CDC and FDA are recommending a second Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster for anyone who is over the age of 50 or is immunocompromised. That doesn’t mean all of you should rush to get the second booster, there’s probably no need. The evidence seems to indicate that one booster may be good enough for most people for the time being. But as with everything surrounding this pandemic, something might change next week or next month, or next year. Stay tuned.

But for now, your favorite feathered dinosaur (an avian or non-avian dinosaur to be specific) is protected against COVID-19.

I also got a Shingrix vaccination at the same time. Now begone Herpes zoster.

Now here are some cute pet photos because you spent the time reading about my boosters.

Photo by Sergey Semin on Unsplash
Photo by Mathis Jrdl on Unsplash
Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash
Avian dinosaurs. Photo by Roi Dimor on Unsplash

I got my Moderna COVID vaccine booster – my immune system is powerful

Moderna booster

On 25 October 2021, I got my Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. As with the first two shots, I felt nothing other than a bit of a sore arm.

Now my immune system is scientifically boosted to handle whatever SARS-CoV-2 has for me. I’m ready to kick its sorry butt for even thinking about infecting me.

Why did I get the booster?

  • Because it’s safe.
  • Because the Moderna booster protects me against COVID-19 even more.
  • Because there is evidence that the original series of shots have waning immunity.
  • Because it’s the only way to boost my immune system against the coronavirus.
  • Because I know that vaccines are more powerful than pseudoscientific supplements and quackery.
  • Because the CDC recommends it.
  • Because it was free.
  • Because I want to do the right thing for my own health and to protect others.

I don’t know if boosters will be necessary every few months or years. But this virus is so resilient and mutates so frequently, I am willing to bet we will need frequent boosters for any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In fact, early evidence appears to indicate we might need a second booster for the Omicron variant.

person getting vaccinated
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Any of you who are pregnant, obese, or immunocompromised, especially if you’re older than 50 should get the booster. Anyone with the following health conditions should get COVID-19 vaccine boosters:

  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney, liver, or lung diseases (such as moderate or severe asthma)
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Down syndrome
  • Genetic conditions, such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • HIV
  • Hypertension
  • Mental health conditions such as depression or schizophrenia
  • Smokers or former smokers
  • Stroke
  • Substance abuse
  • Tuberculosis

Anyone who works in certain occupations that are at high risk of COVID-19 should get the booster shot:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Firefighters
  • Police
  • Educators, such as teachers, daycare workers, and support staff
  • US postal workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Those who work in grocery stores, corrections, or manufacturing

Those were the original recommendations. However, now everyone should get a booster, and as I said above, we might need a second booster.

Update

Nothing to update. No adverse events. No breakthrough infections. No flu (because I also got my flu vaccine). I must be the one boring boosted individual.

Moderna booster
Cute kittens to make you happy before you get your booster shot. Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash.
Cute puppies for dog lovers. Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Pfizer COVID pediatric vaccine will require a third dose during clinical trials

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On 17 December 2021, Pfizer stated that trials for its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 2 to 5 show that it did not provide the expected immunity. Therefore, it is adding a third dose to the clinical trial, and it will probably mean a significant delay in getting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine for that age group.

Pfizer, after its independentData and Safety Monitoring Board examined the data, decided to add the third dose for all children and babes, ages 6 months to 5 years, that were included in the clinical trial. Apparently, the data showed that the two pediatric-sized doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were not producing the expected immunity in the 2- to 5-year-old group. Although they did not have the data for babies up to two years old, they decided to add the booster to them.

person getting vaccinated Pfizer COVID pediatric vaccine
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

The Pfizer pediatric vaccine includes a 3 microgram (µg) dose as opposed to the 10 µg dose for individuals 5-12 years old, and a 30 µg dose for those older than 12-years-old. Pfizer said that the third 3 µg dose will be given at least two months after the second dose in the two-dose series that was included in the original clinical trial protocol.

The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board, which can see clinical trial data without giving details to the company or investigators, also indicated that there were “no safety concerns were identified and the 3 microgram dose demonstrated a favorable safety profile in children 6 months to under 5 years of age.” This should assure anyone that a third dose will not bring up any safety issues.

person holding test tubes
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Pfizer stated:

The decision to evaluate a third dose of 3 micrograms for children 6 months to under 5 years of age reflects the companies’ commitment to carefully select the right dose to maximize the risk-benefit profile. If the three-dose study is successful, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to submit data to regulators to support an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for children 6 months to under 5 years of age in the first half of 2022.

Pfizer is also planning to test third doses in older children, who do not yet have authorization for booster doses of vaccine. Kids ages 5 to 11 and 12 to 15 will get full-dose third shots in the trials.

It’s clear that Pfizer is taking extreme care with its lower-dose pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. They want to make certain that they are providing effective doses without any serious safety signals.

One final point — whenever someone makes a claim that companies somehow cheat during vaccine clinical trials, nothing could be further from the truth. Companies, such as Pfizer, institute a number of protocols and independent advisors to make certain that these clinical trials provide unbiased and quality data that support the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines.

The future of the COVID-19 pandemic — vaccines are still the key

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We are heading towards the start of the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people want to know what the future holds. Will there be more variants? Will we need more vaccines? Will there be more dumb ideas about the disease?

Well, I’m not a pseudoscientist, so I not only don’t make, but also I certainly don’t believe in predictions about the future course of the COVID-19 pandemic. But I think I can write down some science-based thoughts of what we might see over the next few months.

Continue reading “The future of the COVID-19 pandemic — vaccines are still the key”

Why do we need COVID vaccine boosters for the Omicron variant?

COVID-19 vaccine boosters omicron

I have seen a few comments about the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters before and after the appearance of the new Omicron variant. Of course, anti-vaxxers use this as a reason to deny the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, I’ve even seen pro-vaxxers misunderstand why boosters are needed.

Today, Pfizer announced that its preliminary studies showed that individuals who have received boosters produce about 25X more neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant than those who received the COVID-19 vaccine alone. This is awesome news with the caveat that this has not been peer-reviewed or published, it is just a report from Pfizer itself. In the hierarchy of vaccine research, it is pretty low until it is published in a medical journal.

I’m going to try to explain the reasoning behind the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters against the Omicron variant. I hope it provides some science-based facts about boosters so that it might help you in discussions about the vaccine and new variant. I’m dividing my explanation into three broad areas, with the intent to make the science as clear as I can.

And just to remind everyone, I am fully boosted with the Moderna vaccine.

Continue reading “Why do we need COVID vaccine boosters for the Omicron variant?”

COVID-19 vaccine boosters FAQs – what you should know

COVID-19 vaccine boosters

Following the advice of the Vaccine and Related Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the FDA announced that COVID-19 vaccine boosters can be given to those individuals who received the Moderna and JNJ vaccines. This follows a previous announcement about the Pfizer vaccine booster shots. The FDA also stated that all eligible individuals could mix and match vaccines for their booster dose.

There is a lot of information about these boosters out there, so I thought I would take a moment to try to provide some facts and clarity about what the recommendations are about these COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Also, this is related to a US FDA set of decisions and recommendations from the CDC, so this article is going to only apply to the USA. However, don’t be surprised if the EU and other regulatory agencies across the world do the same thing.

Continue reading “COVID-19 vaccine boosters FAQs – what you should know”