Local health officials encourage booster shots ahead of holidays, ‘waning immunity’ explained – kuna noticias y kuna radio

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With coronavirus cases rising again nationwide and the holidays approaching, adults are encouraged to get their booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

“You can come in and get a booster regardless of any comorbidities, disease or your age,” said Lindsey Valenzuela, Associate Vice-President, Population Health Integration, Desert Oasis Healthcare. 

Any adult in California can now get a booster shot as long as it’s been six months since your last Pfizer or Moderna shot, or two months since your Johnson & Johnson shot.   

Experts say it’s no surprise that booster shots are recommended when it comes to building your immunity against the virus. 

“We expected this from the beginning…that COVID-19 vaccines would require boosters. We’re also coming into winter,” said Valenzuela. 

News Channel 3’s Madison Weil asked Valenzuela about ‘waning immunity’ and what makes a booster shot beneficial.

Valenzuela explains that a booster shot is essentially the same vaccine as your primary dose. She says booster shots are recommended as they increase your immunity, which can wane over time — especially as the stronger, delta variant spreads through the community. 

“The reason the California has encouraged patients to get boosters is because like many vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines require you to boost or enhance your immune reaction to that vaccine,” said Valenzuela. “We need to give that immune system another exposure so it can ramp up its response. Because the delta variant is so strong.” 

Valenzuela added that since COVID-19 is a relatively new disease, booster shots will help build and maintain your immunity over time: 

“Many of the viruses in the community we’re exposed to…we’ve been exposed to them our entire lives. This is the first time that any of us have been exposed to COVID-19. To expect a single dose or a single series of a vaccine to provide the lasting immunity for a lifetime…is a little unreasonable,” she said. 

Valenzuela says when it comes to this specific virus, “Our immune system needs to be triggered multiple times in safe, small amounts in order to be able to provide the immunity to ward off a serious illness or a hospitalization.” 

In the event of a breakthrough case, where a vaccinated individual still tests positive for coronavirus, she says the vaccines will likely decrease the severity of one’s symptoms.

Another reason to consider a booster? Upcoming holiday gatherings and travel. Health officials are urging people to take extra precautions if they will be traveling to a destination and/or visiting vulnerable loved ones.

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