Lalain Reyeg will administer a COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine to Army veteran Gary Nasakaitis on September 24, 2021 at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
Preston Alexander, 66, of Massachusetts, was thrilled to learn last week that he was entitled to a booster dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Alexander, whose wedding photography business collapsed during the pandemic, was concerned about protecting himself from the virus in the fall and winter, when the Delta variant is expected to circulate alongside seasonal flu. After CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Friday had signed boosters for a multitude of Americans, including those over 65, he immediately called his local pharmacy to make an appointment.
The photographer and videographer regularly held large parties and weddings for 200 to 300 people, he said.
“I will definitely not submit to others if they don’t even wear masks and dance on the dance floor like it’s 1999,” he said in a telephone interview. He got a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Saturday.
Four people interviewed by CNBC – among the first Americans to receive booster injections in the United States – said they were given the extra doses for fear of exposing themselves or loved ones to the Delta variant and becoming seriously ill.
The exposure has led to an increase in hospital admissions in the United States, mainly among the unvaccinated. Still, some vaccinated Americans have suffered what are known as breakthrough infections, and just over 19,000 of them – less than 1% – were hospitalized or died of Covid on September 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Scientists say that vaccination protection against infection generally wears off six months after the second vaccination. Federal health officials hope that empowering the U.S. population will continue to provide long-term and lasting protection from serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Other countries, including Chile and Israel, have already started offering third doses to many of their citizens.
On Friday, Walensky approved a number of recommendations, including distributing the syringes to older Americans and adults with underlying illnesses, starting six months after their first series of vaccinations. It also approved booster vaccinations for people in high-risk professional and institutional settings, such as health workers and teachers, and overruled the Agency’s Vaccination Practices Advisory Committee after rejecting the same proposal.
The new policy will provide a third dose of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid vaccine to approximately 60 million people, of whom 20 million were immediately eligible as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to rupture across the country, President Joe Biden said on Friday.
Alexander of Massachusetts said he saw the extra doses as a “blessing”. He found that the side effects of the third Pfizer syringe were similar to those he had after the first and second doses.
“I wasn’t expecting anything big when I got my booster,” he said. “I still had a painful arm for a day and a half. No headache, no fatigue, no nothing. Just an incredible feeling of peace of mind. “
Three other people who received the Pfizer booster also said they felt better and had minimal side effects after the additional dose.
Karen Cobb of Sanbornton, New Hampshire, looks after her two granddaughters, ages two and four. The 69-year-old said she received a booster vaccination at her local CVS on Sunday for not wanting to pass the virus on to her grandchildren, who are currently unable to be vaccinated.
“I’m the treasurer of my city and even though everyone in the office was fully vaccinated, there was an outbreak. Two women got Covid and I was exposed to them,” she said.
Source: Preston Alexander
Cobb, who also suffers from autoimmune diseases, said her arm was sore on Monday and on Tuesday she suffered from headaches and nausea that lasted until morning.
“Fortunately, I was able to rest,” she said. “I feel better now that I’ve got the refresher to get back to work,” she added.
California-based Wayne Adams, 62, received his Pfizer booster Monday at his local Walgreens. Adams, who has health problems, said the third shot took about 45 minutes and was painless other than the first shot.
His job in public transport is considered indispensable, “so I had no option to work from home. I didn’t want to take him to my wife or other family members,” he said.
“I want to have normal Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties for my kids and grandchildren and it’s the right thing and the vaccine is the way forward for all of us,” he said.
Alberto Jacinto, 29, said he lied to get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine and told his local pharmacy that he had a pre-existing medical condition.
He said he felt he needed a booster because his job was to move to a city in northwest Texas that has a low vaccination rate. He said he got his extra dose in late August after discovering a CVS was offering third shots.
“It’s a university town, so I didn’t want to take any chances with the students here,” he said.