Corvallis begins rollout of COVID-19 booster for eligible citizens

An+illustration+depicting+someone+receiving+a+COVID-19+vaccine+booster.+Health+experts+have+been+recommending+that+certain+members+of+the+population+receive+a+booster+to+better+protect+against+COVID-19+and+its+variants.+

H Beck, Illustrator

An illustration depicting someone receiving a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Health experts have been recommending that certain members of the population receive a booster to better protect against COVID-19 and its variants.

Riley LeCocq, News Contributor

In the past year, two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine have initiated a return to pre-pandemic conditions but for some, a third shot is required to maintain a path to normalcy. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants in the United States and studies showing that protection against the virus may decrease over time, health experts are beginning to recommend a third vaccine dose for some of the population.

April Holland, the public health director and public health administrator for Benton County noted the third dose is highly recommended for some people but not all. 

“The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster is currently recommended for anyone 65 years or older, or anyone 50 years or older with underlying medical conditions, six months after they received their second dose in the initial series,” Holland said. 

This third dose for Pfizer and Moderna recipients—second for Johnson & Johnson—is expected to bulk up immune resistance to the virus as an additional layer of precaution for those at higher risk. 

Randal Smith, a senior instructor in the College of Business at Oregon State University, finds himself in this category and is ready to line up for his next shot on Oct. 26. 

“I fully support the vaccine, it just makes sense to bolster my immune system,” Smith said. “As people become eligible, I think it is important to get the booster shot—because it’s just like getting the first shot… it’s about preventing others from getting ill. So I would say, if you are eligible, don’t hesitate, just get it.” 

While the additional dose is recommended for a rolling portion of the population, requirements and recommendations are continually evolving. 

“A third dose is recommended for [immunocompromised] individuals because the two dose series may not provide a robust immune response to COVID-19 with a compromised immune system,” Holland said. 

Though the time frame for administering the shot has changed, Holland stressed that the formula of the vaccine has not. 

“Students and our community should know that even though a Pfizer booster is now recommended for some individuals, all of the COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective at preventing the worst outcomes of COVID-19: hospitalization and death—even without a booster,” Holland said. 

Holland emphasized the importance of speaking with medical providers about the third dose, continuing to get tested and getting vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Various locations in the Corvallis, Ore. area are prepared to provide these services now and throughout the coming months.