COVID-19 Booster Shots to Start Rolling Out

An eight month booster shot will be administered to increase protection against the COVID-19 virus.

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Photo by Aryanna Martinez

Sophia proudly shows off her COVID-19 vaccine as she waits for the booster shot to be administered.

Story by Samantha Wong, News Editor

   As schools across the nation return to in-person classes, the US COVID-19 hospitalization rates have hit record highs for all age groups under the age of 50, especially for those under 18. Hospitalization for this age group is 30 percent above their previous peak, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). While COVID-19 cases are on the rise, the US is still below its worst pandemic moments this January. 

   “Returning to school made me kinda nervous to go back with everyone being there but I really liked how the teachers and staff are trying their best to keep us safe by ensuring that everyone is wearing a mask inside,” junior Ariana Baltizar said. 

   The current COVID-19 vaccines created by Pfiter/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have been proven to protect against or at least minimize the damage caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant. According to the CDC, the average pace of new people getting vaccinated is more than 70 percent higher than it was one month ago. 

   At least 11 states, including California, counted more than half their reported breakthrough cases between July 1 and early August, suggesting that the rise of Delta was causing more breakthroughs than earlier strains. 

   “The pandemic hasn’t ended and going back to normal is just encouraging the inevitable closure of campus. I think that if a vast majority of students at school are vaccinated it helps to keep us safe,” junior Kellen McDowell said. 

   Health officials say the milder cases are evidence that the vaccines are effective, though some add that people have misinterpreted the higher rate of breakthrough cases with the Delta variant. In order to provide more protection, the Biden Administration announced on Aug. 18 that COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will be offered to eligible Americans. These booster shots will be given eight months after the second dose. While these shots apply to the Moderna and Pfitzer/BioNTech vaccines, the US surgeon general has said those who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot vaccine will likely also need another dose. 

   “Wearing a mask is probably the simplest of acts and not only does it keep you safe, vaccinated or not, but it also helps keep others safe. I honestly think that staying focused in class is harder than keeping a piece of cloth over your nose,” junior Holly Sorial said. 

   The Pfitzer/BioNTech vaccine has been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration while their booster shot has been filed for emergency verification. The booster will help to reinforce the protection from the first two doses which have been observed to have decreased in effectiveness. Starting on Sept. 20, the booster shot will be administered to the general public while some in high risk groups have already received theirs.