Boosted again

Mary & I got our second booster shot this afternoon, a Moderna chaser to our previous Pfizer shots. We better be safe against COVID now! I also think that if we get one more, making 5 injections, we ought to either get a free coffee refill, or we should start to transform.


  1. DonDueed says

    I also got boosted today. My series was J&J, Moderna, Moderna.
    Did not feel the injection at all, but I anticipate the usual sore arm lasting three or four days as well as some other symptoms over the next day or two.
    Could I get cocoa instead of coffee? It may snow here tonight.

  2. says

    I’m still pissed off that I didn’t get the magnetic powers that very loud people promised us. I swear, if my DNA doesn’t change to something non-human, someone’s getting a talking to.

  3. KG says

    Lucky you! The UK government has been slow in setting up second boosters, and I think I’ll be waiting until October or so – too long, given the apparent rate at which immunity decays. Still, in many countries few people have been able to get even a single shot.

  4. blf says

    France has finally set up a second-booster programme, currently (I believe) only for the 60+ and only after six(?) months (presumably with exceptions for the immunocompromised, &tc (I’m unsure of the details)). So I don’t quite qualify, but eventually will… fortunately, the last wave seems to be dying down (R is now c.1 and on a decreasing trend).

    My own sequence is Pfizer–Pfizer with a (requested) Moderna booster; no problems with any of the jabs, I myself barely even noticed the Moderna booster. (I did have some soreness, at least, after at least one of the Pfizers, as I now recall, but nothing at all significant or alarming.) I specifically asked for a Moderna booster for two reasons: At the time, the best data known to me (pre-Omicron) was a full dose of Moderna was the most effective booster; and I guessed (correctly) Moderna wouldn’t be in high demand (for reasons I now cannot clearly recall, reported blood clots or something?).

  5. raven says

    I’ll be getting my fourth booster shot in June and be glad for it.

    However, a lot of scientists are wondering just how sustainable this Covid-19 virus vaccine strategy is. High level immunity seems to last 6 months. My smallpox and polio vaccinations from the 1950s are still good.

    The FDA had an advisory panel on April 06, 2022.

    NPR: Advisers To FDA Weigh In On Updated COVID Boosters For The Fall

    In a daylong virtual meeting, a panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration came out in general support of efforts to develop new COVID-19 vaccines tailored to variants.
    “I think we’re in uncharted territory because with SARS-CoV-2 a lot of things have happened that have never happened before,” said Dr. Arnold Monto, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan and acting chair of the committee. (Hensley, 4/6)

    AP: US Experts Wrestle With How To Update COVID-19 Vaccines
    More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. health officials are beginning to grapple with how to keep the vaccines updated to best protect Americans from the ever-changing coronavirus. On Wednesday, a panel of vaccine advisers to the Food and Drug Administration spent hours debating key questions for revamping the shots and conducting future booster campaigns. They didn’t reach any firm conclusions. (Perrone, 4/7)

    They didn’t conclude anything but some decisions on updating the vaccines need to be made soon. We are already past Omicron and into Omicron BA.2 and beyond.

    The general feeling is that we should get Covid-19 vaccines that last at least a year, with boosters once a year. Sounds good to me, in line with the flu shots.
    The problem here is that right now, no one has the slightest idea how to get to this. The vaccines we already have are products of state of the art biomedical research.

  6. raven says

    What If We Never Reach Herd Immunity?
    Hitting the threshold might actually be impossible. But vaccines can still help end the pandemic.
    By Sarah Zhang Atlantic Feb. 2022

    While COVID-19 vaccines are very good—even unexpectedly good—at preventing disease, they are still unlikely to be good enough against transmission of the virus, which is key to herd immunity. On the whole, we should expect immunity to be less effective against transmission than against disease, to wane over time, and to be eroded by the new variants now emerging around the world. If vaccine efficacy against transmission falls below the herd-immunity threshold, then we would need to vaccinate more than 100 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity. In other words, it becomes downright impossible.

    We haven’t heard much about herd immunity lately.

    For a lot of reasons.
    It may be impossible with the Covid-19 virus.
    .1. Both immunity due to infection and vaccine induced immunity seem to wear off quickly, in a matter of months.
    .2. There is a gigantic pool of virus worldwide that is continually throwing up new mutants, including antigen escape variants.

    This means that those who advocated just letting the virus run wild without any sort of public health measures such as mask, social distancing, shutdowns, and vaccines were completely wrong.
    They would never have hit herd immunity. What they would have done is kill millions of people unnecessarily.

    FWIW, the vaccines are estimated to have saved, “Dec 14, 2021 — The U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program has prevented an estimated 1.1 million deaths and 10.3 million hospitalizations.” That is a lot.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Transform… hmm, the Species (film we old people watched long ago) seem to get a lot of sex.

  8. blf says

    we should start to transform.

    Only when there’s a full moon.

    Ah, but since the so-called coronavirus is actually a Magic Sky Faerie (e.g., possibly alien) snake venom (according to a recent conspiracy theory), the moon(s?), planet (if any), star(s?), galaxy, and even universe are unknowns — this could be the only “full moon” in the entire lifetime of the Earth — or they might happen several times a second. The mildly deranged penguin suspects they are time-reversed, as the humans seem to be regressing back to a 14th BCE (Earth) level-of-(mis-)understanding.

  9. says

    I’m virulently (*) pro-vaccine, but I’m sick of being sick. Ten days lost after being floored by three shots was not fun. I missed Monday at work.

    (* Is that an appropriate adverb to use here?)

  10. anat says

    raven @10: If non-human populations serve as a reservoir for virus that can infect people again then there is zero chance for herd immunity.

  11. birgerjohansson says

    Will we get a boost from human blood? Or are there just some special blood groups? My empirical studies are inconclusive, and the police has taken an unwelcome interest.

  12. nomdeplume says

    I have now had it, w months after first booster and i month before I could have second booster. Sort of ok. Lasted 7 days – ten times worse than the worst flu I’ve ever had. Thank goodness it wasn’t Delta. Really grateful Australian state leaders kept us protected for long enough to avoid that. And that I had the booster shot. GP prescribed anti-virals which I took from day 3 to day 7- I think they helped considerably but I have now developed a rash, presumably an allergic reaction to them. There doesn’t seem to be an anti-oldage pill.

  13. StevoR says

    Australians will be getting a 4th covid booster / vaccine shot sometime soon too – its already available for older folks and when its available for those my age as well in maybe a month or two ‘s time I’ll be getting it too. Think its now going to become a regular thing same as the annual flu shots.

  14. larpar says

    I got my first booster shot about a month ago (8 months after my initial shots, the recommended time, afaik). What’s the recommended time until a second booster?

  15. birgerjohansson says

    If you want to boost your resistance to BS, check out “The baloney detection kit”, created by Carl Sagan.
    Ha! The new “God Awful Movies” episode has arrived- I use this stuff instead of heroin.

  16. Jazzlet says

    In the UK at the moment only over 75’s are getting a fourth booster, though the plan is to boost everyone eventually. They are having problems in that most of the staff formerly dedicated to administering vaccines have returned to their normal jobs, so there are far fewer people delivering the vaccines.This has nothing to do with the loss of European staff as a result of Brexit, nothing at all to do with it./s

  17. d3zd3z says

    I got my second booster last week. Similar to PZ, with a Moderna followup to the 3 previous Pfizer shots. Very little reaction, just a little soreness, even less than the first booster. I guess there are some advantages to being over 50. I’m glad for the timing, though, as I’m supposed to start traveling for work in about 3 weeks.

  18. blf says

    What is this fourth booster several commentators have mentioned?

    As far as I am aware, excepting immocompromised people and a few others, generally two boosters now seem to be the norm(? recommendation?). Are people counting both their first-ever jab and its follow-up second jab as a “booster”? That is not the usual or understood terminology; e.g., note that in the OP, our host poopyhead and the Trophy Wife, have got their second booster — in-line with my understanding of both the recommendations and terminology.

  19. blf says

    @24, They are saying booster. I concur that is probably what (most) mean, but (putting on my pedantic hat) point out it is incorrect in multiple senses, starting with the first-ever jab cannot possibly be a “booster” (except, perhaps, if there was a previous infection, albeit that is not a definition of “booster” I am currently aware-of).

  20. blf says

    @24, Clarification: “I concur that is probably what (most) mean…” → “I concur jabs is probably what (most) mean…”

  21. larpar says

    nomdeplume @19
    Thanks. I’ve seen that as a minimum, what’s the maximum? A booster every four months seems a little …something….um…impractical??

  22. John Harshman says

    I tested positive 3 days ago, around a week after my 4th Moderna shot (2nd booster). Symptoms are really mild—slight cold — but still highly inconvenient. Currently in quarantine. Moral: you are protected only somewhat from infection, much more from serious illness.

  23. says

    I’m taking my chances. Every COVID vaccine has made me sick as hell. I’m fairly young, I’m in good health. I’m willing to take my chances at this point. I’m not going to spend a 100+F day of misery in bed to save antivax assholes at this point.

  24. says

    I’m taking my chances. Every COVID vaccine has made me sick as hell. I’m fairly young, I’m in good health. I’m willing to take my chances at this point. I’m not going to spend a 100+F day of misery in bed to save antivax assholes at this point. Fuck the lemmings.

  25. nomdeplume says

    @28 I haven’t seen estimates beyond that. My guess would be from then on an annual covid booster, in conjunction with the annial flu booster,

  26. says

    @18: What’s the recommended time until a second booster?

    @19: @18 4 months since first booster.

    I just want to point out that @19 really doesn’t answer the question. You are eligible for the second booster after 4 months—that is not necessarily a “recommended” time. What I would want is some sort of optimization discussing how much protection fades over time vs. the possibility of either getting Covid (and having a severe episode) or, that nobody offers/approves 3rd boosters (in which case I want to delay my second as long as is reasonably safe to extend the lengths of my overall protection).

  27. blf says

    @34, I doubt anyone knows. As an example, here in France, the recommendation (treated the same as eligibility) was originally six months for the first booster, but that was pre-Omicron. Then Omicron showed up, and it was dropped to five months, then (two(?) weeks later) four months. Using that example, please tell people the characteristics of the next variant of concern, and perhaps a consensus can be reached…

  28. birgerjohansson says

    If you wonder how the crazies are trying to transform, Tucker Carlson is promoting tanning your testicles.
    With red light.
    Let that sink in.
    Kid Rock was present during the conversation and even he thought it was too much.

  29. robro says

    Glad to hear. Both the partner and I had our second booster recently. Both of us spent a day in bed, another day getting over the aches, and a week or so of lethargy…but perhaps that’s just laziness.

  30. dorght says

    Three shots and still haven’t grown a third arm from the injection sites. Damn it, that arm would be so useful. Even a tentacle would do, maybe even preferable. Have to wait to see what grows if I can get the 4th shot.

  31. StevoR says

    FWIW. My 3 jabs were all Pfizer – all my local free clinic offered so didnt get the choice to mix ‘n’match. The first one just gave me a very slightly sore shoulder, the second jab made me a bit crook – feverish, fatigued and just not feeling good for a day, the third only gave me a slightly sore shoulder again.

  32. Silentbob says

    Not to boast, but my shots were Pfizer and I had zero symptoms of any kind from any of them.
    I was expecting it because I’d heard stories of it being like a bad cold or whatever – but nothing.
    Just commenting to reassure people symptoms from vaccines are by no means inevitable. I think most people have none.

  33. tacitus says

    Moral: you are protected only somewhat from infection, much more from serious illness.

    Not a big deal considering the audience here, but please don’t underplay the protection from infection. After the first booster, the protection from infection was over 80% two months after the jab, declining to 50% after 6 months. That’s very significantly better than what “somewhat” implies.

    I’m sensitive to getting the emphasis right when talking about infection protection because have seen far too many people (many of whom are not antivax) saying the vaccines “don’t protect you from infection,” which to many reads as though the vaccines are useless when it comes to avoiding infection so there’s no point in getting one.

    It’s also always worth pointing out that you’re 20 times more likely to die if you’re unvaccinated vs someone who is fully boosted.

  34. tacitus says

    Not to boast, but my shots were Pfizer and I had zero symptoms of any kind from any of them.

    I had no side-effects from the first jab, a hint of slight fever the second, and an extremely stiff arm for 24 hours after the first booster. Time for my second next week.

    Of course, I’m no spring chicken anymore and the older you are, the fewer the side-effects (typically, anyway). My 90 year old parents are both on their second booster and haven’t had a single side-effect between them.

  35. erik333 says

    @41 tacitus
    What level of social distancing/exposure are those percentages assuming?

  36. cartomancer says

    I am many decades too young to qualify for a fourth dose. But I did actually get the Delta strain back in September, and there were no symptoms (well, I felt more tired than usual, but I had just begun teaching again after the summer break, so that’s not really more tired than usual). So I expect I’m good.

    It’s my parents, in their late sixties, who I am more concerned about. They won’t be eligible until the autumn. Fortunately they don’t actually go out and mix with anyone anymore, and have remained uninfected for the duration.

    Most worrying, of course, is my idiot brother, who has had no vaccine at all yet thanks to his awful idiot wife. Worse, he doesn’t take any precautions, what with never catching up with news and refusing to worry about anything. In fact, the stress symptoms I’ve had from worrying myself sick about his well-being for two years have been many times more debilitating than anything the virus managed to do to me.

  37. birgerjohansson says

    Fuck, that is bad. If I was in that situation I might start looking for some big-ass bikers willing to hold down the brother in question and administer the vaccine- the problem is, the cops would know who instigated it.
    I hope your brother somehow will get out of the pandemic alive and well.

  38. birgerjohansson says

    On top of everything else, Sweden now has an official anti-vaxx party inspired by the Merican vaccine deniers. Fortunately it is quite hard for new parties to get above the 4 % threshold needed to get into parliament.

  39. birgerjohansson says

    Re @ 36
    My apologies, I missed that PZ already had adressed the matter.
    A cold has made my brain slow down to the lowest gear.

  40. torcuato says

    I do not understand what all the hurry and excitement over getting a second booster is all about. After all, there has been only one “study” (it was just observational) from Israel, that concluded that at best a second booster may improve your protection against severe illness and death, but it makes no difference when it comes to infection. In my opinion, it is the Europeans who are doing the right thing and not rushing to approve the second booster. Here in the US, two FDA top officials resigned over the Biden’s administration pressure to push for a 4th shot, and it was only after that when it was approved by the next in command, and after only one meeting. (“Thank you very much!”, said Pfizer and Moderna). But hey, what do I know. If anyone wants to inject themselves with mRNA every 6 months, go for it.

  41. nomdeplume says

    @48 The effectiveness of the booster (like most vaccines) decreases over time. The best estimate seems to be 5 or 6 months for effectiveness to be greatly reduced (though it will still have primed the immune system to a greater degree than the first two). For at risk people (age, illness, immune compromised) that makes a second booster essential. But hey, gotta watch put for that mRNA even as you are wheeled into ICU eh?

  42. tacitus says

    If anyone wants to inject themselves with mRNA every 6 months, go for it.

    Out of the mouths of antivaxxers…

  43. PaulBC says

    I’m going to admit that I am not personally eager to get a 2nd booster right now, though I’m happy that other people are. I’m still nearly as careful about masking and contact as I was before there was any vaccine (I realize this was prior to the development of the most contagious variants). My daughter, who is immune suppressed, has had three full shots and a booster. She’s actually the one with the most contact, since she attends school in person. Everyone there is masked.

    I’ll watch and wait. I’ll also probably do whatever my wife does.

    The 2nd shot and booster hit me pretty hard, and I also suspect that the 2nd one was injected badly, since I have had arm and shoulder pain since then. If my left shoulder would ever recover fully, I’d probably feel differently about about the whole thing.

  44. PaulBC says

    me@53 Oops. I mean, I think the booster was injected badly. If I get another shot, I may see if I can get it at my healthcare provider and not CVS.