Opinion | Get your COVID-19 booster shot for the holidays

While people are gearing up for the holidays, it’s important to stay safe and get your COVID-19 booster shot

Syringes+for+the+COVID-19+vaccine+lay+on+a+counter+at+the+VA+Medical+Center+in+Iowa+City+on+Tuesday%2C+Dec.+22%2C+2020.+The+center+received+the+Moderna+vaccine+for+its+employees.

Shivansh Ahuja

Syringes for the COVID-19 vaccine lay on a counter at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. The center received the Moderna vaccine for its employees.

Elise Cagnard, Opinions Contributor


While you may already be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, your job is not over yet. If you got vaccinated on May 15 or earlier, it is time to get your booster shot, if you’re eligible.

As we’re trying to get back to a semi-normal life, it is important to take the necessary steps to stay safe. With the holiday season approaching, people are traveling from all over the country to be together. For the sake of immunocompromised people and high-risk individuals, such as grandparents and young children, everyone should get the booster shot as soon as they are eligible.

For the students at the University of Iowa, life is back to a near normal, for the most part, since the pandemic started. Classes are mostly in person, we have stopped wearing masks around friends and family, and we can gather in large numbers.

While this is a relief to many, it makes it hard to remember that no matter what it feels like, the pandemic is still not over.

Rates have been steadily decreasing over the past few months for the vaccinated population, but with the upcoming holidays, it is imperative that you stay safe and take the proper precautions. Many families are gathering this holiday season for the first time in large numbers. While this is a joyful time, it will raise the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Because the age of eligibility for vaccination was recently lowered from 12 years old to 5 years old, there is more optimism surrounding COVID-19 rates going into the upcoming holiday festivities. This optimism will only survive if adults are also taking safety measures and getting the booster. If kids are fully vaccinated while the adult’s vaccinations have worn off, no one will truly benefit.

The need for a booster shot does not take away from the effectiveness of the vaccines. Additionally, you might wonder, “Why is it so important to get my booster shot if I’m already fully vaccinated? I already did my part.”

COVID-19 boosters are likely to become a yearly thing, similar to the flu shot. With many vaccines, it is necessary to get boosters because a certain period after your initial vaccination, the vaccines can start to wane and lose their effectiveness. Due to this, you need another dose of the vaccine, and thus booster shots were made.

It is recommended to get your booster shot six months after the last COVID-19 vaccine shot you received. As college students, this might feel like a hassle. Many of us do not have access to cars and finding a place to get a booster while studying for exams might not feel worth it.

Unfortunately, college students are the perfect spreaders for COVID-19 as we travel across the country visiting our homes and other relatives. This makes it even more vital that we stay on top of this and get our booster shot.

Thankfully, getting your booster has never been easier. Through the UI, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and booster shots are available at either Student Health locations Monday through Friday. Appointments are preferred, but Student Health also accepts walk-ins.

There is a single easy step you can take to maximize your chance of having a safe and protected holiday season. While you are enjoying some much-needed family time, you should not have to worry about what you’re being exposed to or what you’re exposing your relatives to.

Get the COVID-19 booster shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself and your loved ones.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


 

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