Booster Protects From Sickness Yet Does Not Provide Complete Immunity

Third shots developed to combat Omicron, variants

Evan Vezmar, Opinions Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and new variants become more and more contagious, booster shots of the COVID vaccine are now recommended for people ages 12 and up. The CDC denotes the reason for boosters as, “public health experts are starting to see reduced protection over time against mild and moderate disease, especially among certain populations.” The booster shot increases the immune response a person has if they have COVID, meaning that the vaccine does not reduce the likelihood of getting the virus but it reduces the chance of getting very sick or dying. In addition, because the Omicron variant is much more contagious than previous variants of COVID-19, the CDC explains that, “COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants.”

Currently, the entire Upper School student body and faculty is eligible for the vaccine. PK-12 Blake School Nurse, Carissa Osterud, mentions that “everybody who’s had the booster has an extra layer of protection… Early studies show that the boosters are really effective at helping people prevent disease and more importantly, preventing serious illness and hospitalization.”

Research about COVID has only begun a year ago so scientific information about the virus is still very new, but even so, Osterud explains, “I think that the more people that get the booster, the better we’ll be as a community, not just at Blake, but as a state, as a nation, as a world. I think the more immunity we can provide to people, the more protection the better.” While as of January 28th, there are 70 recorded cases throughout all grade levels, case numbers have begun to decline, potentially indicating there has been a peak in the Omicron variant’s wave.

Nevertheless, masking rules are still being enforced as uncertainty looms over students and faculty. In addition, misinformation continues to be detrimental to the fight against the pandemic. Osterud emphasizes that, “I think that there’s a misconception that, ‘if I get all of my doses of the vaccine, I shouldn’t get COVID or I won’t get COVID’ and I don’t think that’s true and I don’t think that’s the goal. Again, the goal is really to prevent that serious illness and hospitalization for everyone. You’re less likely to get it if you’re up to date on your vaccinations which means including that booster if you’re more than five months out from your primary series.”