I’m Grateful for My COVID-19 Booster Shot
I’m hurtin’ a little today. I have mild muscle aches, a bit more fatigue than usual, and dragging legs. It could just be a bad MS day, or it could be the result of my COVID-19 booster shot a couple days ago.
I received a third shot of the Moderna vaccine, which actually is a half-dose compared with the previous two. My wife and I are both older than 65, and we received our last COVID-19 vaccination shots more than six months ago, so we were both eligible for a booster, which we got a day apart at different locations.
The rush to get boosters here in the Washington, D.C. area isn’t nearly as intense as it was when vaccines were approved earlier this year, but appointments are being snapped up at a brisk pace.
Our vaccine side effects were mild
As was the case following our shots in February and March, the side effects this time were barely noticeable. We both had mild body aches, some soreness at the injection site, and a mild fever, which was handled with Tylenol. My wife also had a mild headache.
The woman who gave me my booster shot told me she was in bed for two days after her shot. Back in March, the pharmacist who gave us the shots told us the same thing. I’m glad we did better.
What about interaction with disease-modifying therapies?
Studies have shown that people being treated with certain disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that deplete B-cells exhibited a better antibody response when the vaccine was administered three months or more after the last dose of DMT, according to the National MS Society, which provides a comprehensive list of vaccine timing considerations on its website. According to the society, COVID-19 vaccines are not likely to trigger an MS relapse, and the “risks of COVID infection far outweigh any potential vaccine risk.”
Research shows good success for the Moderna booster
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently reported that the Moderna booster has an excellent ability to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus and all of its variants. NIH scientists vaccinated rhesus monkeys with the standard two shots followed six months later by a booster, just like us. They reported that the booster significantly increased virus-neutralizing antibodies. There was also evidence that the booster improved B- and T-cell immune memory, which is important for long-term protection against COVID-19.
Also importantly, the boosters limited the ability of the virus to replicate in the monkeys’ lungs and noses. That means that a booster not only might help to reduce viral spread within our bodies, but also it might do more to limit person-to-person spread than the first two shots did.
Have you had yours?
Are you up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines? I hope so. Don’t forget about seasonal flu shots as well. You can get those at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, if you like.
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