EDITOR’S NOTE: This report was written and recorded before the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adults and urged them for anyone 50 years and older.
NEW HAVEN, Conn.(WTNH) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday authorized COVID-19 booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for all adults aged 18 and older. A move the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to follow, and that would mean boosters could be opened up for all adults as soon as this weekend.
With many of us already on the road to our Thanksgiving travel destination, what does the new availability mean for this holiday season?
Governor Ned Lamont got ahead of the FDA on Thursday and said everyone who is six months out from their second COVID vaccine dose should get a booster. People have been listening. A New Haven city vaccine clinic was busy on Friday.
Belinda Klutsey of New Haven told us she’s getting the booster shot so she can continue, “protecting myself and my friends.”
Millie lives in an assisted living facility. She has been eager to get her third dose. “It’s like an extra precaution.”
New Haven Health Director Maritz Bond said, “Ultimately if there’s availability and people want to have their boost of protection we want to make sure we’re accessible to the community.”
Health officials say, however, just because you get the dose Friday doesn’t mean you’ll have that immunity come Thanksgiving.
“It does take time for your immune system to ramp up,” explained Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford Healthcare’s chief epidemiologist. “So with regards to people traveling for Thanksgiving, it’s going to have no impact. But for the future holidays after that, it’s definitely going to have impact, as well.”
Hartford Healthcare says the booster needs two weeks to work. But get it soon anyway because there’s the possibility for partial immunity.
Chris Tagatac is heading home from Guilford to Vermont, then New York for the holidays, and then D.C to drop his daughter off. “I’m psyched about it I wish we could have done it sooner. Because there’s a lot of people traveling.”
David Hunter, president and CEO of Mary Wade Home in New Haven, said, “Families are able to visit in all skilled nursing homes at all times.”
Because of new federal guidelines, Hunter said this Thanksgiving will be a world away from last year–we all remember those scenes of visiting with loved ones through glass windows. His staff and residents are among those already eligible for the booster.
“We would encourage people who’ve had the vaccine to get the booster,” Hunter added. “Things are getting somewhat back to normal but we all have to be cautious and we have to be careful.”
Experts recommend leaving a light schedule the day after getting the booster shot in case you experience any reaction or symptoms.