Some Healthy Americans Seek Coronavirus Booster Shots Before Approval - The New York Times
Sep 14, 2021 2 mins, 24 secs

Amy Piccioni is not a doctor or a scientist, but as word of breakthrough coronavirus infections in vaccinated people started spreading this summer, she waded through an array of technical and often contradictory information about the need for coronavirus booster shots.

“It takes a long time for scientists to admit that some people need a booster,” said Ms.

Most do not feel they are taking a dose from someone else, as vaccines are widely available in the United States and a local pharmacy is not in a position to shift shots to nations that need them.

commissioner, has urged people not to seek booster shots on their own, but to wait for a regulatory ruling that they are safe and necessary.

“Frankly, I did not trust the government to act on the science,” said Lynn Hensley, who assigned herself a booster in July, six months after her second shot.

The Maryland Department of Health decided to take action ahead of the F.D.A.: It issued an order last week permitting immediate boosters for all residents 65 and older who live in group settings like nursing homes.

Larry Hogan, pointed to the C.D.C.’s recommendation last month that “moderately to severely immunocompromised” people should have extra shots.

As a result, Americans across the political spectrum are relying on pieces of information, like an announcement by Israel’s Ministry of Health in July that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against symptomatic infection — though not against serious illness — waned over time.

“This is a result of poor risk communication and lack of political and scientific transparency over the last 18 months,” said Rachael Piltch-Loeb, a researcher and fellow in public health emergency preparedness and response at the Harvard School of Public Health.

For vaccinated people living in areas where many have shunned shots and masks, proactively grabbing a booster feels like buying insurance on a rental car: They might not need it, but it makes them feel more secure.

Bruni Baeza, 83, walked into a CVS in Miami, flashed the white vaccine card that showed seven months had passed since her last shot and was immediately given a booster, she said in an email from her birthday cruise — the impetus, she said, to get the third shot.

Like vaccine refusal, they say, it does not take into consideration the broader fight against the pandemic, which they believe should be focused on vaccinating the 25 percent of Americans who are eligible but unvaccinated, or on vaccinating people in poor nations.

“I feel like I can’t put the responsibility of being safe on anyone else,” said Isabella, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she had been dishonest about her health status, telling a pharmacist that she was immunocompromised.

“I was nervous,” she said, but concluded, “For someone like myself, someone who had an old vaccine, it was OK to boost with two.”


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