The FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine Booster Shot: What This Means for Teachers

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Olivia Shaughnessy, Guest Writer

The FDA has officially approved a booster shot for the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. The CDC urges anyone categorized as a high risk individual to get the shot. Teachers are included in this list.

 

Booster shots have been discussed in the United States for quite some time and they are finally being approved. As of right now, only the Pfizer vaccine has a booster dose, which can be administered to individuals who have been vaccinated with Pfizer. However, there has been discussion about public health officials extending the list of those eligible in the coming weeks. 

 

Ninety-seven percent of all COVID cases that led to hospitalizations were seen in unvaccinated individuals. This proves the effectiveness of the standard two doses of the vaccine. Once a booster dose is added, the effectiveness significantly strengthens.

 

The booster is just another dose of the same vaccine that millions of individuals have already received. Protection from the vaccine seems to weaken about six to eight months after it has been administered, and the booster will do just that: boost the vaccine already in your body.

 

Over twenty million people are already eligible to receive the booster dose based on the list that was released:

  • Individuals sixty-five and over.
  • Individuals eighteen to sixty-four with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Individuals eighteen to sixty-four who work anywhere with high risk of contracting COVID-19.

 

And as you can deduce, teachers fall into the last category.

 

In my opinion, all teachers that qualify (that is, those who have had their second dose of Pfizer at least six months ago), should definitely get the booster. 

 

There are some side effects to this shot, which are in line with the side effects after the second dose. Things like soreness at the injection site, headache and fatigue are included in the list. However, that seems a small price to pay for increasing school and workplace safety. 

 

Teachers see anywhere from dozens to hundreds of students every day and are susceptible to catching COVID-19 from these individuals, even if the child does not know they are infected. Students are much more likely to be asymptomatic than older individuals and can transmit the virus to anyone in close contact. A booster shot for teachers is another added layer of protection that helps classrooms run smoothly.

 

Schools are trying to uphold as many COVID safety precautions as possible. However, many are falling short in this challenge. The hallways are overcrowded, desks are spaced far too close together, and the list goes on. The Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose will be a key component in increasing the safety of students and staff.