COVID-19 booster shots: Who should get them?


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Right now, those 65 and older and people with underlying medical conditions can get COVID-19 booster shots.

That is as long as it has been six months since your last shot and only if it was Pfizer.

And there is even more to sort through.

If you are a frontline worker on this list, like first responders, educators, and grocery store employees, you can also get the booster.

But, what if you aren’t on the list and it’s been six months?

Or on the list but are still waiting for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster approval?

Dr. Paul Cook, chief of Infectious Diseases at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, said if you have been vaccinated don’t panic.

“I’m not saying it’s OK to get sick but what I am saying is you’re probably not going to get so sick that you’re going to end up in the hospital and you’re probably not going to get so sick that you die from this,” he said.

Occupations at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include front line essential workers and health care workers as previously detailed by the CDC*:

  • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

What is not helping is the fact there are people who refuse to be vaccinated, something Cook said the country has never seen on this scale.

“Why we can’t do this with this particular disease? I’m a little baffled,” he said.

Cook said the CDC’s recommendation for frontline workers to get the booster was the right move.

“Because it put the CDC on the same page as the FDA which had recommended that as well,” said Cook.

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