I’ve got my booster shot, have you?

While we’re possibly out visiting family and friends on this traditional family holiday, I hope you’ve done what is necessary to protect yourself.

Also keep in mind that we’re probably going to see a surge of infection among the unvaccinated in a few weeks. Stay home if you aren’t up-to-date on the vaccines.


  1. says

    I qualify as of two days ago. I need to schedule one. I’m a bit nervous because my second dose of Pfizer knocked me for a loop, so I’m going to allow a few days for the down time. I also just started a new job and I’m nervous about asking for time off so soon. Isn’t America great? I’m simultaneously losing my health insurance in the middle of a pandemic and struggling to justify getting time off for a vaccine that might fuck me up for a day or two.

    I’ll talk to my boss on Monday and see about planning this all out. Timing is critical and I’m not going forward without a plan.

  2. submoron says

    I get my booster tomorrow and I’m slightly uncomfortable that we in the U.K. are giving third injections when other countries are still not getting enough for first doses.

  3. fergl says

    16 year old daughter has one vaccine shot, as per guidelines. She’s in bed with a high fever and pcr covid positive. Didn’t think it would hit her this hard being young.

  4. strangerinastrangeland says

    Not yet. Counting the days until I can get my booster but it was only 4 month ago that I got my second shot.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US or who else cares about that day!

  5. says

    @3 submoron
    There’s a lot of reasons for that, but for once, western greed and privilege isn’t one of them. Short shelf life and supply chain issues are really what’s causing this. Also it took decades of world cooperation to eliminate smallpox and that global drive just doesn’t exist today.

    I understand your frustration. We could make it happen, but we aren’t. I blame the rising nationalism that is spreading almost as fast as COVID, and not just in the US, but across the globe. The spirit of global cooperation that I grew up with is dying. When countries stop cooperating it leaves a big giant hole that nationalism fills.

  6. says

    @4 fergl
    I ran a 105.5F fever after my second dose of Pfizer. Just keep her hydrated and give her Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen) she’ll be fine in 24 hours.

  7. hillaryrettig1 says

    Yes! But a bit concerned bc I had NO side effects. I hope I got a good strong boost. (Everyone who had a side effect be grateful for that, too!)

    The graph-line for MI COVID deaths is currently vertical, so am so thankful for the vax.

    We are visiting a relative who works for Google, and Google gave their employees a home covid tester that is a PCR unit in a small, elegant box. Total Star Trek stuff. Is that what all the home testers are? Really blew my mind.

  8. blf says

    France just updated its guidelines to make all adults vaccinated five or more months ago eligible (with some exceptions), and with the Health Pass (proof of full-vaccination, necessary to visit a restaurant, for long-distance trains, etc.) automatically expiring after seven months if no booster. I myself haven’t quite reached the five-month point yet and do not fall into any of the exceptions, so… not yet. (Presumably in December, assuming there are slots available.)

  9. raven says

    Here is my vaccine booster story.
    Not a whole lot happened.

    A sore arm that I had to think about to notice.
    In the middle of the night, I woke up cold with chills.
    Thought, at least something is happening. Went back to sleep.

    Bored everyone by pointing out for a week that…I had got my booster. These days, that passes for excitement.
    Well, it is exciting. In 2021 we were supposed to having flying cars and colonies on Mars. Instead, we are dodging invisible death from a newly evolved virus that our immune systems have never seen before. The future was overrated.

  10. raven says

    It could have been a lot worse.
    Here is my unvaxxed story.

    My idiot neighbor just died from Covid-19 virus. Not vaccinated.
    His wife is fine because she was vaccinated.
    Except she is devastated that her husband is now dead and in his pine Freedom Box.

  11. microraptor says

    I got my booster a week ago.

    I’m currently training as a CNA at the local hospital. Got assigned to someone yesterday who said “well, from all I’ve seen working here, it really doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not.”

    Current statistics as of Tuesday night were that there were 27 people with COVID in the hospital, and 24 of them were unvaccinated.

    Yeah, clearly it makes no difference.

    I did not enjoy working with her (she also made a habit of going into a room with a MRSA patient without putting on PPE).

  12. R. L. Foster says

    Ray Ceeya @ 7

    You ran a 105.5F fever? Really? That’s extremely high for an adult. Very dangerous. That’s when one needs to go the ER. Hope all is well.

  13. submoron says

    @6 Ray Ceeya
    Thanks for your comments. My standpoint is partly informed by experience with QA/QC lab experience with MSD and Glaxo so I know that you can’t scale up very fast and, indeed, I am astonished at what has been achieved so far. I understand better having read ‘Vaxxers’ by Sarah Gilbert and Catherine Green.
    Yes, toxic nationalism is very much the problem and I suspect that the most compassionate politician dare not give away vaccine whilst their own country still has need lest they be voted out of office.

  14. raven says

    abcnews.com November 25, 2021

    The U.S. is now reporting more than 94,000 new COVID-19 cases each day — up by 47% since late October. And 35 states — nearly all of them in the north or mountain region — have seen an uptick in daily cases of 10% or more in the last two weeks.

    Just under 53,000 COVID-19 positive patients are currently receiving care in hospitals across the country — up by more than 7,000 patients from earlier this month.

    Several states — including Michigan, Maine and New Hampshire — are experiencing record-breaking surges.

    We are now in the fifth wave of the US Covid-19 virus pandemic.
    It is so far hitting the northern states the hardest, probably because it is cold out and people are spending more time indoors.
    Several states are having their worst surges yet, which is saying something because a lot of the other waves were pretty dismal.

  15. kevinv says

    Got mine on Sunday. Kind off wished I’d cross-vaccinated and got Pfizer to add to my original Moderna but I stuck with Moderna. My reaction, way back when, to the 2nd Moderna shot was pretty bad*. 100+ fever for 3 days, severe muscle aches, extreme tiredness. Reaction to shot 3 was minimal, no fever, some muscle ache, some tiredness.

    Still wear my mask when I’m in enclosed public spaces.

    *bad is of course relative, it was way better than symptomatic covid. Except for the intense muscle pains it wasn’t even as bad as cold as I didn’t have 10 days of runny noses after.

  16. says

    @13 R. L. Foster
    I came out OK. I knew what I needed to do to bring down the fever. The hospital wouldn’t have dome much different. High fever, treat with analgesics first. The fever only peaked at 105.5. Hydration and generic Tylenol was enough. Decades without health insurance prepared me for it more than anything.

  17. call me mark says

    I got my booster on Sunday (Pfizer, as with the previous two doses). Minimal side-effects, much like raven describes up-thread, “A sore arm that I had to think about to notice.”

  18. euclide says

    Will qualify January 5, and have until February 5 to get the 3rd shot, per french government regulations (the vaccine or regular testing is mandatory if you want to travel or go to movies, concerts, bars and restaurants)
    And since we have a scary wave is Europe, I will go back to full remote work for the time being

  19. stroppy says


    My other arm was already sore from overuse. And it was faster and easier to do it that way –in and out, and on my way.

    I have to say, the second shot was a little painful, but otherwise ok.

  20. numerobis says

    we’re probably going to see a surge of infection among the unvaccinated in a few weeks

    I’m not sure you’ll be able to distinguish that surge from the present surge that’s already in progress.

  21. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I got my booster a couple of weeks ago. Just in time to see an increase in cases here in Lake county IL. The number of cases is now slightly higher than the early fall surge.

  22. whheydt says

    As of tomorrow (Friday) it will have been two weeks since I got my booster, so I can claim it to be in full effect. I got the flu shot at the same time in the same arm. No reaction at all. No soreness, no fever, nothing. That was true of the first two shots as well.

    My sympathies to those that have had reactions, but–as you’ve noted–it beats the alternative.

  23. blf says

    euclide@23, You might want to double-check that… Today (25th November) it was announced the six-months-after vaccination is now just five-months-after to become eligible to get a booster, albeit the seven-months-after expiry of the Health Pass remains — suggesting you’ll become eligible for the booster on 5th December, with your Health Pass (Passe Sanitaire) expiring on 5th Feburary if you haven’t gotten a booster. There’s some other changes, including a return to the earlier stricter mask-wearing, etc.

    As an aside, I think your 5th December / February dates are the same as mine !

  24. planter says

    No booster for my age group yet where I am in Canada, though vulnerable people are getting them. In good news – was able to get both the 8 and 11 year old in to a provincially run clinic yesterday for their first doses (Day 1 of under 12 availability here). The clinic was a steady stream of apprehensive kids and happy/relieved parents.

  25. answersingenitals says

    I had no reaction to any of my five (pfizer) injections, but my wife gets a sore arm for a day or two after each. She brings an ice bag, similar to a bag of frozen peas, in a small ice chest and places it against the injection site right after the injection. This greatly reduces the degree and duration of the reaction. I don’t think this affects the effectivity of the vaccine.

  26. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Georgia finally opened up boosters to under 65, so will be getting my third Pfizer shot Tuesday morning just over 7 months after the second. At 34 yo, I’m second youngest at work and the youngest was vaccine hesitant so he did not get fully vaxed until after Pfizer got full approval.

  27. numerobis says

    Don’t panic but we have a potential escape variant in South Africa, still viable despite 10 mutations on the RBD.

  28. cvoinescu says

    hillaryrettig1 @ #8:

    We are visiting a relative who works for Google, and Google gave their employees a home covid tester that is a PCR unit in a small, elegant box. Total Star Trek stuff. Is that what all the home testers are? Really blew my mind.

    I looked at the FDA emergency use authorization for the Cue Health test that Google give their employees. It is not PCR, but uses what’s called isothermal nucleic acid amplification.

    PCR (polymerase chain reaction) involves thermal cycling — hot to “unzip” DNA into single strands, cold to allow complementary bases to attach to the single strands (they do that on their own) and the polymerase to join them into a second copy of each strand. Then unzip, copy again, and so on. It’s a little more complicated than that (there are primers to select what DNA to amplify, and, in the case of COVID-19 testing, an initial step to reverse-transcribe virus RNA into DNA , because PCR does not work with RNA). In essence, each cycle doubles the amount of DNA in the sample, making it easy to detect after a number of cycles. The specific type of PCR used to detect this virus also attaches a fluorescent tag to each copy of DNA, and measures the emitted light during the amplification (that is, in real time), allowing it to gauge the quantity of virus RNA in the original sample. Hence “reverse-transcribed real-time polymerase chain reaction”, or rtrtPCR.

    Isothermal amplification does away with thermal cycling by adding an enzyme that does the unzipping. This is, at the moment, less reliable than the thermal method (because the copying and the splitting are done at the same time instead of alternating). It is, however, a lot easier to do in a home test, because all you need is to combine reagents, add the sample, heat to a constant temperature, and wait. The cartridges come pre-filled with reagents, and the machine squeezes them out into a common compartment where they meet the sample. Detection is electrical, which is cheaper and easier than fluorescence, but the FDA EUA does not say how that works (except that it involves nanoampere currents, which is not a lot to go on). All in all, amazing science and technology makes this possible, but the machine itself is not a lot more complex than a Polaroid camera.

  29. Matthew Currie says

    I got my booster as did my wife. And must just note that my stepson who lives in ND, along with his wife and 3 1/2 year old daughter, just got it for a second time (first time about a year ago). They’re both vaccinated, though I’m not sure the boosters had reached them yet. I imagine it’s the delta variant this time.

    So yeah, get your booster now, do whatever you can to minimize it. It’s bad. If they come out with a Delta booster, I’ll get that one too.

  30. hemidactylus says

    @10- raven

    To some extent SARS-CoV-2 might not have been entirely novel antigenically to everyone infected. Previous exposure to human cold related coronaviruses could have given immune systems some fair warning. How protective in each case I dunno. Have I ever had exposure to a non-SARS HCoV? I dunno.

  31. numerobis says

    hemidactylus: Very few people had exposure to sarbecoviruses before SARS-CoV-2 — probably only a few thousand (mostly people who survived SARS).

    The wider class of betacoronaviruses we’ve probably all been exposed to, but the two species that affect us bind to a different receptor. That explains why there’s not much indication of cross-immunity: viruses mutate a lot, except for the part that binds to a receptor since it still has to bind to the same protein either way. But two viruses that bind to different receptors might not have much of their surface in common.

  32. chrislawson says


    I agree the international distribution of vaccines has not been fair, but there’s no need to feel personally guilty about it. You had no influence over those decisions and delaying your own immunisation won’t free up doses for other countries. The best thing you can do for everyone in the world is get vaccinated. The more people immunised, the fewer infection pathways exist, and the smaller the pool of replicating viruses to evolve new strains. And while there are definitely countries worse off, Uncle Boris’s malignant stupidity in the early stages of the pandemic means that the UK has one of the worst COVID mortality rates in the world (it’s #24 on the world ladder of mortality per capita), so you do actually live in a high-need region.

  33. hemidactylus says


    Well I am a curious layperson on this stuff and wonder at the overlap or crossreactivity and also effects of antigenic imprinting (or seniority) as topics I’m vaguely acquainted with. This source did some interesting modeling:

    And this passage is key: “To speculate on the impact, patients with a relatively recent CoV infection (not SARS2) may develop a less severe form of COVID-19 while patients infected by another human-infecting CoV more than a year ago may result into a more severe form of COVID-19 with both scenarios being affected by the presence or absence of cross-reactive immune response from a prior human-infecting CoV contagion with some degree of structural similarity to one or both SARS2 S1-CTD and S1-NTD. We emphasize that these are speculations and would ultimately require both laboratory and clinical experimentation to prove.”

    Here’s what appears to be relevant data on HCoVs in the US:

    Here’s something in the back of my mind:

    “Here, we highlight the link between OAS and the germinal center reaction (GCR), a process unique to activated B cells undergoing somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination. It is the powerful response of activated memory B cells and the accompanying GCR that establish the foundations of OAS. We apply these concepts to the current COVID-19 pandemic and put forth several possible scenarios whereby OAS may result in either beneficial or harmful outcomes depending, hypothetically, on prior exposure to antigens shared between SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal human coronaviruses (hCoVs)…”

    OAS being “Original Antigenic Sin”.

  34. hemidactylus says

    A couple more sources on potential epitopic overlap between HCoVs and SARS-CoV-2.

    This one showed promise:

    This one gives a critical overview of the situation with imprinting or OAS in mind:

    Still I feel much safer with three Spikevax shots under my belt, which may make previous HCoV exposure moot, unless it were to mess with my capacity to develop affinity for the spike in the vaccine. Yet: “Hensley does not think this is likely, however. In a study published as a preprint last month, he and his colleagues reported that people do not produce as many OC43 antibodies after receiving a messenger RNA vaccine as they do when infected with SARS-CoV-2 itself8. This could be because the mRNA vaccines establish such an efficient immune response that they can bypass any immune-imprinting effect. “Maybe in the context of mRNA vaccines there’s not really going to be as much of a biasing towards conserved epitopes. That’s the hope,” says Hensley.” Sigh of relief?

    I personally wouldn’t assume recovery from COVID and/or previous exposure to an HCoV as sufficient protection or a reason not to get vaccinated. Just cool curiosity. Some have been using natural immunity as a reason to not get vaccinated. The State of Florida has an “EXEMPTION FROM COVID-19 VACCINATION BASED ON COVID-19 IMMUNITY” form for that:



  35. bcw bcw says

    The refrigerator magnets were falling off my arm so it was time for a booster.

    Pfitzer, slightly less sore arm than second shot but none have been bad for me.
    Mostly can’t lie on that side at night for a day or two.

  36. Ice Swimmer says

    I booked the appointment for my second booster. It’ll be at December 29th. I got my first booster in May 31st.

    I’m hoping I’ll be getting the 5G mobile internet connection from the third shot (though, I’m wondering if I also need to insert a SIM card in some orifice of mine?).

    Got my flu shot on Monday. No ill effects from that, it even hurt less than flu shots usually do.

  37. says

    Got a booster of Moderna about a week and a half ago. I had semi-significant side effects from the second dose of the original vaccination (severe chills and, now that I look back at it, body aches), and the booster gave me no chills but severe, long-lasting body aches which felt like growing pains. Severe enough and slow enough to wake me out of a sound sleep and keep me awake on the third night after the shot, when I had already been aching since the evening after I got the shot. (I didn’t take acetaminophen because I didn’t have other symptoms and acetaminophen makes me woozy, but the pain was somewhat relieved by ibuprofen.) The pains faded out completely by the fifth day.

  38. submoron says

    @41 chrislawson
    Thanks. I see what you mean and suppose some of my problem is that we grabbed so much oversupply that we deprived other countries. I do get irritated with compatriots whom I see ignoring sensible precautions. The lockdown is over but when I know of people licking fingers to count notes before paying bills I wish common sense were more common.

  39. submoron says

    I’m concerned: P Z has been silent for more than a day. I fear that he’s been clobbered badly.

  40. davidc1 says

    @51 Don’t worry ,he is with his granddaughter , no doubt planning to breed a super strain of GBBBS .

  41. asclepias says

    One more week until I’m eligible for the booster, one more week! My first shots were Pfizer, so I think I’m going to get Moderna this time. My mom says I should stick with another Pfizer from the health department, but from what I understand, mixing it up a bit is better. I was the last person in my family to be fully vaccinated. My parents are older, one sister is a teacher (and lives in Colorado), and my other sister is immunocompromised, so I couldn’t get vaccinated until April/May. In case you’re wondering, this has been a source of some frustration to me. Get on with it already!

  42. submoron says

    Ta! I had my Pfizer booster to follow on from my AZ first doses.
    I don’t know whether the US has had this but anti vaxxers in the UK are sticking up notices with razor blades behind them so that you slash your hands if you try to take them down.

  43. says

    @#53, asclepias:

    Apparently the British Medical Journal just published a study which strongly suggests that the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine’s effectiveness wanes severely after 3 months. (Which would, if true, be a cause of the wave now sweeping through even the most heavily-vaccinated countries in Europe, where Pfizer was the most common version given.)

  44. birgerjohansson says

    Another “Black Swan ” event would be a Carrington event as depicted in Tom Hank’s film Finch.
    To see the difference between the film and real effects, I recommend the podcast “Dr. Becky”
    see “An astrophysicist reacts to Finch with Tom Hanks ( solar flares, aurora and UV-c radiation )”
    Ler me make a bet that the preparations for a Carrington event are just as pathetic as the preparations were for the pandemic we experience.

    And now back to the covid-19 thread.

  45. Walter Solomon says

    I got the J&J shot back in March and I got a Pfizer booster about two weeks ago. The booster had shaking uncontrollably for a day but it, thankfully, wore off.

  46. blf says

    Our possibly paid Putian troll on a report the Pfizer / BioNTech is markedly less effective after three months asserts Which would, if true, be a cause of the wave now sweeping through even the most heavily-vaccinated countries in Europe, where Pfizer was the most common version given.

    Unlikely. It is true Pfizer / BioNTech is the most common vaccine used in the EU (which is not the same as “Europe”), but otherwise dubious: The EU countries most affected at the moment are also those with lower vaccination rates; both the hospitalised patients and those in ICU are all, almost exclusively, unvaccinated; a notable percentage of whom are children (less than 12) who, until very very recently, where not eligible for the vaccine. Plus, there are the outliers, such as teh “U”K, where AstraZeneca’s vaccine was widely used, yet is also experiencing a fifth wave.

    The unevidenced assertion strikes me as very much typical Putin troll factory propaganda, which is what I expect given who made it.

  47. tacitus says

    Got my Pfizer booster a couple of weeks ago. Very sore arm for the first 18 hours or so — couldn’t even raise it unassisted. Otherwise, not too bad. Everyone over 50 in my extended family has already had a booster, and all the youngsters are fully vaxxed (some had Covid last year).

    But the brother-in-law of a friend of mine died from Covid-19 last week. He was a healthy 50-something, but he was also the only member of his extended family not to be vaccinated, despite months of begging and imploring from everyone else. He was full on antivaxx and left behind relatives who are not only having to deal with grief, but with anger too, at the stupidity of it all and the people who enabled it.

  48. says

    @#59, blf:

    Hey, you should write a book. You can title it “Everyone I Disagree With Is A Russian Bot” and explain how — despite handing victory at everything to the Republicans, every time they get into any position of authority — the Corpo-Clinton Cabal is not at all responsible for anything bad, ever. And then you can add some other demential-fueled drivel, like how actually trying to stop climate change is too extreme, or how, despite being supported by over 60% of the public, a wealth tax is undemocratic. I’m sure it would sell well with your fellow Reagan supporters.

  49. says

    @62 The Vicar

    Not everyone. Just you.

    Don’t worry, though. I doubt many people here think you’re a Russian propagandist. I believe the consensus is you’re just utterly unhinged enough to SOUND like a Russian propagandist.

    HTH. HAND.

  50. unclefrogy says

    I got my booster last week my arm was a little sore and I had a weird smell in my nose when I exhaled kind of medicinal and kind of chemical and maybe felt a little off but all clear in 3 days.
    what with new variants and the un-vaccinated I am afraid that we will have to be dealing with this for a lot longer maybe it is the new normal
    Until thee next wave of trouble-sum changes start up.

  51. hemidactylus says

    The antibody levels resulting from the vaccines will drop over time. Vincent Racaniello from This Week in Virology objected to calling it “waning”. I think he preferred contraction for the reduction in antibody levels over waning. How can the body maintain high levels of neutralizing antibodies over time? Is such a thing sustainable? Wanted?


    (37:20- cytotoxic T-cells recognize infected cells despite variants)

    (44:35- Antibodies produced by B-cells; rant on COVID misinformation…contraction not waning!)

    (46:10- protection is against disease not infection)

    (53:00- IgG and more about contraction over waning and why antibody levels subside…sustained high levels not good)

    From what I recall Spikevax (Moderna) fared a bit better in long term per levels over Comirnaty (Pfizer). But contraction of antibody levels over time happens. Yet you have T-cells and B-cells with memory of the virus for future response.

  52. hemidactylus says

    At 48:00 in video linked in my previous post they jump on that contraction (over waning) hobbyhorse and mention why contraction (aka “waning”) is actually a feature and not a bug. Hmmm…

  53. robro says

    As of today the big concern is Omicron, of course. A few days ago it was emerging in several countries of south African, then found in Egypt, Israel, Hong Kong. Travel bans went into place quickly, but now it’s been detected in Belgium and some other EU country. Fauci is quoted saying he wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already everywhere. Lots of changes to the spike protein. Appears to be highly infectious. Not known how effective the vaccines are against it.

  54. davidc1 says

    @68 It was reported in The ( you, bastards why do you keep deleting my account?) Guardian that two people
    have died of Omicron in GB .
    Don’t know how or when it is going to end ,the boffins develop a new vaccine ,and another variant pops up ,it seems to
    be happening at shorter intervals .
    And of course those bastard antivaxxers ,moronic rightwing media dickheads ,stupid people in various govts around the world
    don’t help .

  55. raven says

    The information about the Omicron variant has been traveling faster than the Omicron variant, which is saying something since it is already worldwide.

    We won’t know the answers to some common questions for a few weeks. Can it evade the current vaccines? Is it more transmissable? More pathogenic?

    We do know a little bit so far.


    Population-Level Data

    There are preliminary signs that B.1.1.529 is driving a new wave in South Africa. Health officials are looking particularly at a region called Gauteng. In just one week, test positivity rate increased from 1% to 30%. This is incredibly fast.

    If we zoom out on South Africa as a whole, we see cases starting to exponentially increase. On Tuesday there were 868 cases, Wednesday there were 1,275 cases, Thursday there were over 3,500 cases. We do not know if these cases are all B.1.1.529, but the timing of explosive spread is suspect.

    The rate in which these cases are spreading are far higher than any previous variant. Disease modeling scientist Weiland estimated that B.1.1.529 is 500% more transmissible than the original Wuhan virus. (Delta was 70% more transmissible). John Burn-Murdoch (Chief Data Reporter at Financial Times) also found that B.1.1.529 is much more transmissible than Delta. He plotted the spread below.

    This is from a post by epidemiologist Dr. Katelyn Jetelina.
    It is preliminary and probably not all that reliable.
    But yeah, this is definitely a seriously threatening variant.
    It might be more transmissable than Delta. Delta is already one of the most transmissable viruses we know of.

    If it can outcompete the Delta variant, in a few months it will be the dominant variant.

    I’ll go out on a limb here. It it can outcompete Delta, it is likely to be more pathogenic. These viruses can outcompete by multiplying rapidly to higher amounts faster in the respiratory tract. More virus=more pathogenesis.

  56. birgerjohansson says

    My county in north Sweden has reached a vaccination rate of nearly 86%, counted from age 16 and upwards.
    The news of this new variant was a big downer, after we were about to celebrate.