Booster wars: How many pricks does it take to get to the center of a…

How is it that some people still don’t understand that this will never, ever, end?

“Some of us need boosters for two reasons. The first is that the protection against mild and moderate illness provided by the initial vaccination appears to wane over time, especially among older individuals,” says Jessica Justman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. “The second reason is that the delta variant is more infectious. This means everyone, even vaccinated people, is more likely to get exposed to an infectious dose of the virus and have it challenge their immune system. The booster helps your immune system mount an effective response.”

Some states, such as California and Colorado, have opened up booster shots to all adults who are at least six months past their second mRNA dose. It may turn out that the term “booster” is a bit of a misnomer, and that the correct number of shots for maximum efficacy isn’t yet known. Vaccination recommendations often change as more data becomes available over time.

“It’s a good idea to keep an eye on CDC guidance,” says Justman.

Now on to the question of how long boosters will last. That’s a tough one.

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