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COVID-19 Booster Shots

COVID-19 has impacted everyone is some way, shape or form. It has changed the way many of us live our lives and changed the way we complete some of our daily tasks. For the large part of 2020 and early 2021, many states were on lockdown, normal activities were canceled and our daily lives were just different. However, with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021, we have seen a sense of normalcy return, allowing many of us to return to work or just begin enjoying the things we used to.

At NextCare, we have seen the impact of COVID-19 firsthand and have tried to give our patients the most modern and best urgent care experience possible. With this in mind, we began offering the COVID-19 vaccines when they became available and now we are offering the Moderna booster shots for our patients in select locations.

We have created a vaccine page for our patients which can be found at https://nextcare.com/covid-19-vaccine/, but we have put together this Health Journal to dive a little deeper and answer any lingering questions you may have about the booster shots and how NextCare can help. Please visit our Vaccine page and FAQ section to learn more.

Who’s eligible for the Moderna booster shot?

As was the case with the original vaccine, the current supply requires certain measures to be taken to ensure that those who “need” the booster shot the most will be able to get it. Below we have broken down in detail who is eligible for the Moderna booster shot at NextCare as of 11/2/2021.

  • Adults aged 65 years and older: People aged 65 years and up are in the current age group to get the vaccine and it is recommended by the CDC that they do. Often times, the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases as you get older so an extra layer of protection can be crucial for you and your long-term health.
  • Long-term care residents 18 and up: Residents aged 18 years and older “should” get the booster shot according to CDC recommendation. Since residents in long-term care settings live closely together in group settings and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions, they are at an increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19, so a booster shot is a great way to get a layer of added protection.
  • People with underlying medical conditions aged 50-64: For those with underlying medical conditions in this age group, it is recommended that they receive the COVID-19 booster shot. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 often increases with age and can even increase more with underlying medical conditions.
  • People with underlying medical conditions aged 18-49: People aged 18-49 with underlying medical conditions “may” get a booster shot based on their individual risk and benefits. As mentioned, the risk of severe illness can increase with age and for those with underlying medical conditions, so if you feel like you’re at a heightened risk, then the booster shot will be able to help. The CDC states that a person in this age group “may” get the booster shot, but as more data becomes available, the recommendation may change.
  • People ages 18-64 who work or live in high risk settings: People aged 18-64 years old who are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 because of occupational or institutional setting “may” get a booster shot based on individual risks and benefits. Adults who work or reside in certain settings (health care, schools, and homeless shelters) may be at an increased risk of infection since COVID-19 can spread more easily in these environments. The risk can vary based on a number of factors, but if you feel like you are at an increased risk, the booster shot is available to you. Some examples of occupations which make you eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot include:
    • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police)
    • Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
    • Food and agriculture workers
    • Manufacturing workers
    • Corrections workers
    • S. Postal Service workers
    • Public transit workers
    • Grocery store workers

What if my original vaccine wasn’t Moderna?

With the initial rollout of the vaccines, patients had three options and three companies to choose from when deciding what vaccine was best for them. Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson all had a vaccine of their own, although they were relatively similar in their approach.

Now with the booster shots, NextCare will only be offering Moderna to its patients but regardless of what vaccine you got initially, we are here to help. If you got a Moderna vaccine initially, the Moderna booster shot is the perfect next step, but even for those who chose one of the other options, a Moderna booster shot is still available to you.

The only detail that changes based on what vaccine you got initially is how soon you should receive the booster shot when it becomes available. For those who received Moderna or Pfizer for their COVID-19 vaccine, it is recommended that they wait a period of six months before taking the booster dose. However, for those who originally took the J&J vaccine you are eligible to receive the vaccine just two months after your original dose. Although the J&J vaccine was conveniently only one shot, it has been shown to have lower vaccine effectiveness over time compared to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines such as Pfizer or Moderna.

To summarize, NextCare will only be offering the Moderna booster shot option, but regardless of what vaccine you took originally, you will be eligible once you meet the age group or other eligibility criteria.

What are the risks with the booster shot?

So far, the reactions from the patients who have gotten the booster shot have been similar to the symptoms after receiving the initial vaccine. Fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site have been the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects have been reported to be mild to moderate.

However, it is also important to remember that serious side effects are rare, but may occur, as was the case with the original 2-shot or single dose vaccine. As always, consult your doctor with any additional concerns you may have with side effects, as they have the best understanding of your risks and medical history.

When can I get a COVID-19 booster shot if I am NOT in one of the initial recommended groups?

As mentioned above, the initial rollout of the booster shot is limiting the availability to those who meet a certain criteria due to supply and demand, in addition to the need to gather data. There is currently no timetable as to when the booster shots will have increased availability, but more data should be available shortly.

It’s important to remember that the original COVID-19 vaccines continue to be effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization or death if contracted even without the booster shot.

If you have not received your original vaccine, NextCare is here to help. Visit our page to learn more: https://nextcare.com/covid-19-vaccine/.

How can NextCare help?

To recap, NextCare is offering the Moderna booster shot to those qualifying groups and individuals who are seeking a layer of added protection. With the limited supply, only certain locations will be providing the shots so it’s important to visit our vaccine page to learn more. Link will be at the bottom.

For those who are currently unvaccinated and are interested in receiving the initial vaccine, NextCare is also offering the Moderna 2-shot dose for those seeking this protection as well. These vaccines, unlike the booster shots, are available to everyone 18 years of age and older.

To learn more or book your spot in line, visit https://nextcare.com/covid-19-vaccine/.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

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