By the We Can Do This COVID-19 Public Education Campaign
January is a month when Americans are making New Year’s resolutions that often include pledges to take steps for better health. While our community may not make New Year’s resolutions in the same way, the upcoming Lunar New Year is a great time to wish good health on others and yourself, and COVID vaccines and boosters can go a long way to making the new year healthy for everyone.
Here are the top reasons to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster early in 2022:
Boosters provide increased protection over time and against new variants. COVID-19 vaccines continue to work very well at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death. A booster shot is another dose that boosts—as the name suggests—immunity to the virus as time passes, and it offers additional protection against variants like Delta and Omicron. Vaccinated people who have also had a booster are less likely to get sick; but if they do catch the virus, the illness is usually less severe, even with the variants. Everyone ages 12 and up should get a booster.
Viruses tend to spread more quickly in winter months. As the temperature drops, people tend to spend more time inside—especially as they celebrate Lunar New Year. Crowded indoor spaces are perfect places for COVID and other viruses to spread, even sometimes among people who are fully vaccinated. In addition to masking in public indoor spaces, make sure you get a booster on the CDC-recommended schedule.
Limiting the spread of COVID-19 through boosters can help control the pandemic. The more a virus spreads, the more likely it is to mutate, increasing the chances of the development of more contagious and dangerous variants. As more people get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, the spread of the virus will be limited, reducing the chance of new variants emerging. Fully vaccinated people continue to be protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Boosters provide extra protection from cases that can lead to wider spread of the virus and the development of future variants. The best way to control COVID-19 and prevent variants is for more vaccinated people to get boosters.
Boosters are easy to get and available to all vaccinated people age 12 or older. Just like the vaccines, booster shots are available at no cost to anyone living in the U.S. Anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get a booster in five months, and those vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster two months after initial vaccination. Vaccinated adults 18 years and older may choose any available vaccine as a booster, regardless of the type or brand of vaccine received previously; only the Pfizer vaccine is available as a booster for those ages 12 to 17.
Boosters are safe and easy to get and are a great first step to a healthy Year of the Tiger. For more information and to find a vaccine, visit www.vaccines.gov.