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Hey Doc! What is your opinion on the COVID-19 boosters?

The simple answer is that I recommend them, BUT as usual there is a long answer. So, if you want more information I will go over some specific points here in this post. If you do not care anything about COVID-19 vaccines then disregard this.


Since the newer COVID-19 vaccines are technically different than the original Moderna and Pfizer products I will refer to them as vaccines rather than boosters. A booster is typically the same thing you received initially just given again at a later time to "boost" your immune system again.


The first vaccines were monovalent. This means they only provided a single antigen to your body to stimulate an immune reaction to a single particle on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. In this case it was to a protein called the "spike protein." The most current vaccines are "bivalent" and this means they stimulate an immune response to 2 different particles. These newer versions are also referred to as "updated vaccines" and are supposed to target Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 to offer improved protection. This was done to provide protection against a different strain, otherwise known as variant or mutation of the COVID-19 virus.


Currently Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are the only two companies to offer updated vaccines and the original Johnson&Johnson monovalent vaccine is no longer in use. Unfortunately, the bivalent vaccines did not seem to be any more effective than the monovalent vaccine so the next vaccines are going to return to monovalent status. However, they will target the currently most common strain of COVID-19. The current strain that is causing the most trouble seems to be the Omicron XBB.1.5 strain.


There is also another company that is going to make a vaccine that works differently. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines use mRNA technology to stimulate your immune system. The third vaccine is called Novavax and it is protein subunit vaccine. (I will let you look this up on your own)


The new vaccines are scheduled to be released in late September or October of 2023. It is now almost mid September and they do not have any specific dates yet so I suspect it will be October or later.


Now to the real question! Should we get the new vaccine or not? I realize this is a very controversial topic for most people so this is only for information and to keep communication open. As a physician I would never recommend any single treatment, medication, or vaccine to every person. Keep in mind this is an individual decision and the answer will be different for different people depending on many different things.


Personally, I would wait until the new vaccines come out instead of getting a "booster" of a previous vaccine. If you did well with a previous vaccine and/or booster then when the new monovalent vaccines come out it is probably a good idea to get them. That being said, there are several reasons not get the new vaccines.


  1. If you feel strongly you should not get the vaccine or if it causes a great deal of anxiety then you probably should not get the newer vaccines.

  2. If you had significant problems or side effects after a previous COVID-19 vaccine then I would not recommend getting one of the new vaccines.

  3. If you are allergic to any part of the vaccine then do not take them. You can look up the components of the vaccines on the CDC website and also on immunize.com


Otherwise, discuss this with your personal healthcare provider and get all the information you can. And please remember that people can feel very strongly about both the importance of getting the vaccine as well as avoiding the vaccine. Many people have lost loved ones from having COVID-19 and not being vaccinated while many others may have experienced serious personal or family medical problems from getting the vaccine.


If you would like more information please contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.

Medical Specialty Clinic

190 University Ave

Parsons, TN 38363

731-257-1500



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