Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 — September 7, 2022

“Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

585. Five Critical new vaccine procedures and booster shot developments announced.

         QThe new booster guidelines are confusing.  How will these work?

         A:  The White House has announced a coordinated effort to provide everyone with modified booster shots in September.  These shots have been modified to make them more effective against the Omicron B.A. subvariants which are more infectious than previous mutations.  Large quantities of the booster doses have been pre-ordered.  This campaign comes as the U.S. is preparing for its third pandemic winter, and as Covid-19 is currently averaging about 90,000 new infections and 475 deaths every day.

There remains confusion about who is eligible and the timing for each of the two different available boosters – those manufactured by Pfizer and by Moderna.  Clarification is offered:

Do you have a medical condition or are you using therapies that blunt the effects of vaccinations?  You may be advised to not get a Covid vaccination.  You should discuss with your healthcare provider other available therapeutics or ways to reduce your risks.

Have you not yet received the required existing vaccine shots?  The booster shots are formulated to only be given to people who have already received the original vaccines developed in 2020.  This original vaccine will remain available and you should obtain the required shot(s) as soon as possible.

When can you receive a booster shot?  The F.D.A. authorized the modified boosters for people who were at least two months out from their last shot (whether that was the original vaccine or a booster), but you might want to wait longer. Experts said that protection from boosters become more effective by waiting three to six months after immunization or infection.

Where can you get a booster shot?  The new vaccine will most likely be available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and community health centers. Many mass-vaccination clinics and other sites across the country have closed, so you may have to seek out a new vaccination site. You can search a directory of sites online at

Will the booster shots continue to be given at no cost as were previous vaccines and booster shots?   The initial doses of the modified booster shots have been ordered and paid for.  But with the increasing public relaxation of the need to continue prevention measures, new and additional funding is no longer available.  Congress may be asked to provide additional funds, but the impact of Covid funds running out has already eliminated the free distribution of rapid antigen home tests.  If costs are an issue for your contemplating getting a booster shot, you are advised to not delay.

Relevant facts:  Few young children are vaccinated, and Covid-19 is expected to grow.

In an August 28 Hartford Courant article, Ulysses Wu, M.D., infectious disease specialist at Hartford HealthCare reflected on the expected rise in Covid cases in schools and among younger children.  Connecticut Health Department figures were quoted as, “Since the Covid-19 vaccine was approved for those 6 months to 4 years old in June, vaccination numbers have been sluggish.  As of August 16, only 14,506 children, or just 7.9%, have received at least one shot.”  Pfizer’s vaccine requires three shots and Moderna’s requires two.

There is also a relatively low vaccination rate for school-age children.