COVID-19 boosters aren’t just required; they’re a very good idea.
In the third year of a global pandemic, the basics of public health can get lost through fatigue, diverted attention, or even disdain.
We have lived through the first iteration, then Delta, then Omicron, now BA.2 and its variants. We have faced lockdowns, transformed the way we do business and socialize, leveraged technology to a remarkable degree, and rearranged our lives in countless ways. We have heard – and perhaps participated in – debates over when to wear masks, who’s eligible for vaccines, should we get a booster (yes), and the calculus of risk related to all those mitigation efforts.
The fact is, what was true in March 2020 remains true today: the coronavirus and its variants are airborne; so, to slow the spread, we wear masks (the more effective the mask, the better) and we wash our hands often. And to protect ourselves if we contract the virus, we get the full vaccination series including the boosters.
But a bitter truth remains: More than 1 million Americans have died of COVID-19 or its effects, including 30,522 in Los Angeles County. We know how to fight back – by washing our hands regularly, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated and boosted.
Still have lingering doubts and questions? The Department of Public Health or your physician can answer questions and offer guidance. Also, consider the points below to keep yourself healthy.
If I’m healthy and vaccinated, do I still need a booster?
(Yes; the omicron and possible variants may resist two doses of the mRNA vaccine.)
If I can still catch COVID-19, what’s the point of a booster?
(It will help you fight off serious cases of the disease, and likely keep you out of the hospital.)
What if I got vaccinated then got COVID-19? Do I still need a booster?
(Yes; some extra immunity is gained from having COVID-19, but boosters provide added protection and reduce the risk of re-infection. Also, it’s not clear how long immunity lasts.)
What can I expect in terms of side effects from a COVID-19 booster?
(Side effects from any vaccine can vary because of many factors; some people have no side effects; some have the same or slightly more intense side effects than their first two doses.)
Won’t we just need boosters in another six months?
(No one knows. Because the pandemic is still infecting large numbers of people, there’s the possibility for more variants to emerge. Boosters will help us keep pace with the virus.)
Effective Aug. 30, 2021, LMU started enforcing vaccination requirements for faculty and staff; students were required to be vaccinated as of the fall 2021 semester. LMU’s updated protocols require that all faculty, staff, and students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to upload confirmation to Vax LMU. (Exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.) As of January 2022, LMU required eligible community members to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19 booster within one month of eligibility, unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
COVID-19 boosters aren’t just a very good idea; they’re required.