The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun the process of administering booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine for vulnerable veterans. This program has been put into place after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot, to help veterans who are at higher risk due to coronavirus infection. Booster shots for other vaccines, including those created by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are still under review, but are also expected to be offered once they are authorized.
What Are COVID-19 Booster Shots?
Booster shots are a commonly used type of shot used for certain types of vaccines. The effects of many vaccines can fade over time, reducing their ability to prevent illness. Booster shots help to “boost” the immune system, restoring the original effectiveness of the vaccine. Many types of common vaccines, such as those for tetanus and diphtheria, require periodic boosters after a few years in order to remain effective.
Why is the VA Giving Out COVID-19 Booster Shots?
The VA has begun issuing booster shots for COVID-19 due to the fact that many people who have gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus have seen reduced protection from the vaccines as time has gone on. While those who are vaccinated are still at a significantly lower chance of infection than those who are unvaccinated, this degradation in effectiveness was a cause for concern. The booster is meant to correct this drop in effectiveness, which can help protect the lives of veterans and caretakers alike.
What Are the Risks of the COVID-19 Booster Shot?
The majority of people who took the COVID-19 booster reported similar symptoms to those from the original vaccination. These include relatively minor symptoms, such as redness or swelling at the injection site, as well as some more serious symptoms, such as muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. However, generally speaking, those who were able to get the original vaccine should also be able to get the booster.
When Should You Seek Out a COVID-19 Booster Shot?
Right now, the VA is only offering a booster for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and is prioritizing veterans who are most at risk for coronavirus infection. These include veterans over 65, veterans with certain underlying health conditions, and those in high-risk jobs (such as those who work in healthcare). Those who received other vaccines will need to wait until those receive FDA approval for their own booster shots.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.