Local doctor explains importance of booster shots

Coronavirus

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Coronavirus vaccine boosters are slowly starting to go out as new guidance is being put in place.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said there are about 550,000 Kansans that could be eligible for a booster shot. The state has broken that number into people who should and people who may get a third shot.

kansasvaccine.gov

The need for boosters is due to breakthrough infections starting to happen more often. The third shot would give you better protection from severe illness.

Doctors said getting a booster helps two-fold.

“Everything that we can do that helps us to prevent hospitalization, severe disease, significant infection, not only helps those individuals but also decreases the chances of continuing to spread in our community, in our hospitals,” said Sridevi Donepudi, a doctor at Stormont Vail Health.

The booster needs to be six months out from your last shot. Currently boosters are only allowed for people that have had a Pfizer vaccine.

You can expect side effects such as body aches or a fever to be about the same if you get a booster shot. The only difference being noticed is lymph nodes under the arms may become swollen more than previous doses.

Health officials said getting the protection is worth the temporary inconvenience.

“The side effects, typically 24, 48, on the outside 72 hours and it’s done. COVID, [you] could wind up in the hospital, you could wind up dying, you could wind up with all kinds of long-term consequences,” Donepudi said.

Though boosters are important, health leaders said getting more unvaccinated people a shot would make the greatest difference to decrease the spread of the virus.

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