Are boosters safe? Do I need one? Duke expert answers your vaccine questions


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Now that COVID-19 vaccine boosters are available to all adults, we know a lot of you have questions about them. We asked an infectious disease expert about what questions he hears the most.

Are vaccine boosters safe?

“I think people are reasonably asking questions about whether they’re going to see more side effects or whether some of these really rare side effects — like heart inflammation — if we are going to see those with the boosters. Fortunately, so far, we have not,” said Duke University infectious disease expert Dr. Thomas Holland.

Will we have to keep getting boosters?

“I think a lot of people want to know if this is an annual thing and are we going to have to keep doing this? And what does the future hold, as far as repeated doses? And the truth is we don’t know the answer. My hope is that it’s not a frequent or an every year thing, but it’s too early to tell that,” Holland explained.

Can you get a different shot as a booster than the one you originally received?

“If you started with a one-shot J&J vaccine, I would encourage you to get one of the mRNA vaccines,” Holland said.

When it comes to mRNA vaccines, though, he said staying with the same brand or switching really doesn’t seem to matter.

Should I get a booster?

“I think it’s a good idea to do,” Holland said. “I think it’s a way to make things safer as we’re getting together for the holidays.”

When it comes to getting the pandemic under control, though, he said getting unvaccinated people their first shots is the first priority.

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