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The indication is that a second booster shot is needed

Melvin B. Miller

It appears that COVID-19 will continue to be with humans for some time. Successful mass vaccinations have slowed the level of infections, but a new version, the Omicron variant BA.2, has emerged with deadly consequences. Those who have abided by the FDA proposals for inoculations to date should comply with the approval for a second booster.

So far, the second booster has been approved for people older than 50, but it seems to have been advised for people over 65. The second booster shot can be received four months after the first booster shot. Health officials predict that all Americans will need another shot in the fall to prepare for a winter spread of COVID-19, but a second booster will enable people to be more resistant.

The most important question confronting people is whether the vaccines are safe. Is it possible to suffer dangerous consequences from the vaccine? The answer seems to be that while the vaccines are generally not harmful, some recipients might suffer from achiness in the joints for a while after the shots. This is a potential problem for the elderly. But such consequences are not expected to continue.

Moderna and Pfizer are now developing booster shots designed specifically for the new Omicron variant of COVID, but clinical trials are still underway. According to the New York Times, the best available information on the effectiveness of booster shots comes from an Israeli report on the subject.

Researchers studied COVID death rates among more than half a million adults 60 to 100 years old who had received at least one booster. Among the 234,868 who had received one booster, 232 people had died of COVID. Among the 328,597 people who got a second booster, 92 died of Covid. While the disparity is impressive, the study has not yet been peer reviewed, but there is growing evidence that those 65 and older, many with prevailing health conditions, will benefit from a second booster.

It is especially important for elderly citizens to remain aware of health care information that may be available. Reports indicate that people are tired of the battle against COVID. That might well be, but after surviving racial oppression for generations, it is inexcusable to be done in by a virus that the whole civilized world is trying to defeat.