COVID boosters to increase immunity in community


The New York Times

Vaccines become less effective over time, indicating a need for a booster shot.

Sara Zukowsky, Staff Writer

The FDA approved the decision that as of December 9, 2021, the COVID-19 booster shot is eligible to those over sixteen years old. This means that juniors, seniors, teachers, and some sophomores at WA are eligible to receive the shot. 

The COVID-19 booster shot is now available for all people over sixteen who received their second Pfizer or Moderna shot six months ago. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson shot are eligible after two months of receiving their first shot. This applies to some of the seniors and a majority of the teachers at Westford Academy. 

A large part of the population at Westford Academy is now eligible to receive the booster. Those sixteen and above could have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 19, 2021, and their second on May 4, 2021, making them eligible for the booster as of November 4, 2021, according to the six-month time frame. 

On November 30, Pfizer submitted its request to the FDA for sixteen and seventeen-year-olds to be eligible to receive the vaccine, according to Will Stone, a reporter for NPR.

The booster is especially recommended for those with underlying medical conditions, according to Dr. Salazar from Connecticut’s Children’s Hospital. It is also encouraged for those working or living in riskier settings, such as healthcare industries. 

The vaccine itself protects against severe illness and death but it has been proven to wear off over time. The booster, which is half the dose of the original shot, will help provide extra protection from the virus.

Principal James Antonelli believes in the abilities of the vaccine and booster. He is also confident in the science behind the vaccines and the help they are providing.

“I think it’s our responsibility, unless you have a religious belief, that we should be vaccinated,” Antonelli said.

Antonelli predicts that the vaccines will positively impact the number of cases at WA.

“For about a week, we didn’t have any [COVID notification] letters going out,” Antonelli said. “The vaccinations and boosters are making a difference.”