getting the jab
Ken Hoffman joins the shrinking list of Americans choosing COVID boosters
Last week, the FDA and CDC approved another COVID booster shot, this one specifically targeting those pesky Omicron variants. Reports said the shots would be available "sometime next week, after Labor Day."
In Houston, the shots are here now. I got mine on Saturday, September 3. If you're inclined to get the jab, visit the website of a major pharmacy chain or supermarket or health facility. Put in your ZIP code and see if there's a place near you that has the shots.
Make an appointment. Roll up sleeve. Done.
My local pharmacy didn't have the vaccine, and suggested I come back midweek. But I found one about 10 miles toward downtown that had it. My friend Oreste and I made appointments and the whole process — laptop to Band-Aid — took less than an hour.
My vaccine card now has writing on both sides — kinda like my monthly statement from GrubHub.
Oreste and I made a bet on the way over: How many doses of the new vaccine were given at our place? Loser had to buy Chick-fil-A on the way back. Oreste set the over/under at six. I took the over.
Answer at pharmacy: "You guys are numbers 16 and 17 today." Food always tastes better when somebody else pays. (Also, it's a safe bet that Oreste and I may have a gambling issue.)
To vax or not to vax?
I hear the arguments of doubters and anti-vaxxers:
What's next, are we supposed to get a COVID shot every year now? The pandemic is pretty much over.
The vaccine doesn't work anyhow, people are still getting COVID.
Besides, you don't need to prove you're vaccinated to get into restaurants or visit foreign countries or go back to work anymore.
If we have to get a COVID shot every year, no problem here. And, I believe the vaccine does work. It doesn't promise to keep you 100-percent safe from catching COVID, although it does offer some protection. The vaccine's benefit: If you do catch COVID, with rare exceptions, it will keep you out of the hospital and above ground.
That’s good enough for me. I’ll take it.
A good shot
This was my fifth COVID shot, and I'm afraid of needles. I also have trouble swallowing pills, but that’s another story. Both Moderna and Pfizer have made the new vaccine available. I went with Team Moderna, a 50-microgram booster that targets the SARS-CoV-2 strain, plus Omicron BA. 4 and BA.5.
I have no idea what that means. But, I trust doctors and medicine and science.
I know this, I’m fully vaxxed-plus-plus-plus and I haven't caught COVID — not yet anyway. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines contain no preservatives, no antibiotics, no tissues from aborted fetuses or any animal material from any animals, no metals or food proteins, and no latex. No BS.
Not much of a boost
I realize that I'm in an ever-decreasing minority of COVID vaccine believers: 79 percent of Americans (262 million people) received at least one dose, 67 percent (224 million) are considered fully vaccinated (two doses), but only 33 percent (108 million) have gotten a booster.
Texas is behind the national average with 74.4 percent getting at least one dose, 61 percent fully vaccinated, and 23 percent getting at least one booster.
The government has ordered 170 million doses of the new vaccine that targets Omicron variants. I'll take the under.
So far, the 809 million doses of COVID vaccine have been distributed, with 75 percent (610 million) finding their way into people's arms.
Five of them in mine.