SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – State health officials are hoping Utahns will take the opportunity to get a boost of protection against COVID-19 heading into the holiday season.
Adults 18 and older got a head start on the CDC’s announcement a day early as Governor Spencer Cox calls on all fully vaccinated adults in Utah to consider getting the COVID booster shot.
Utah health officials are backing the governor’s request as hospitalizations continue to surge due to the virus.
Utah Department of Health Deputy Director and Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Michelle Hoffman says, “we are in deep contingency strategies in order deliver safe care in our hospitals.”
But Health officials know there are individuals who have questions about the extra shot So, here are 4 things you need to know about getting the booster dose.
Officials say for those already fully vaccinated, the boost dose should immediately increase your immunity.
“Even in the first few days your body is being reminded of what it is meant to fight off and it should have an effect very fast,” says State Epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolan.
While many questions as to why a booster is needed when vaccines are widely available, Nolan adds that the effectiveness of the vaccine depends on your body’s response.
However, Dr. Hoffman stresses that vaccination is still the most effective way to prevent being infected by COVID.
As ICU beds near full capacity, Hoffman says 40% of ICU patients at Intermountain Healthcare are COVID patients, “so if you want to avoid the disease you should get boosted,” says Hoffman.
While doctors strongly recommend sticking with your original vaccine series Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson, they say those who want to get a different brand of the shot are allowed to do so. Eligibility for the booster is six months for those receiving the Pfizer or Moderna series and two months for anyone that got the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Dr. Leisha Nolan stresses the urgency for getting the booster dose as a way of combatting Utah’s current high transmission rate of COVID-19.