‘I want a normal Thanksgiving’: Covid booster shot recipients say of third Pfizer dose

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  • Four people who received Pfizer’s booster shot said they felt relief and experienced minimal side effects after taking the extra dose.
  • They said they got the extra dose out of fear that they might expose themselves or their loved ones to the delta version and become seriously ill.
  • “I didn’t want to bring it home to my wife or other members of my family,” said California resident Wayne Adams.

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Massachusetts resident Preston Alexander, 66, learned last week that he was eligible to receive a booster dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

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Alexander, whose wedding photography business went down during the pandemic, was concerned about his level of protection against the virus in the fall and winter, when the Delta version is expected to circulate along with the seasonal flu. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky signed a booster Friday for a wide range of Americans, including those 65 and older, immediately calling her local pharmacy to set up an appointment.

He said photographers and videographers regularly worked with 200 to 300 people at large parties and weddings.

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“I’m definitely not going to subject myself to others when they’re not even wearing a mask and they’re dancing on the dance floor,” he said in a phone interview. On Saturday, he received his third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Four people interviewed by CNBC—the first Americans to receive booster shots in the United States—said they received the extra dose for fear that they could expose themselves or their loved ones to the delta version and seriously can become ill.

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The tension has led to an increase in US hospitalizations, mainly among uninsured people. Still, some vaccinated Americans have suffered so-called breakthrough infections, and just over 19,000 of them — less than 1% — have been hospitalized or hospitalized, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Have died with covid till september.

Scientists say that vaccine protection against infection usually begins to decline six months after the second shot. Federal health officials hope that increasing the US population will continue to ensure long-term and sustainable protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Other countries, including Chile and Israel, have already started administering third doses to many of their citizens.

On Friday, Valensky approved a series of recommendations, including distributing the shots to older Americans and adults with underlying medical conditions, starting six months after their first series of vaccinations. She also approved booster shots for those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings, such as health care workers and educators, after the agency’s advisory committee on vaccination practices rejected the same proposal.

President Joe Biden said on Friday that the new policy would make the third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine available to about 60 million people, 20 million of whom were immediately eligible as the highly contagious delta variant continues to roll out nationwide.

Alexander, of Massachusetts, said he saw the extra dose as a “blessing.” He noted that the side effects of the third Pfizer shot were similar to those experienced after the first and second doses.

“I didn’t expect anything big when I got my booster,” he said. “For a day and a half I still had a sore arm. No headaches, no fatigue, nothing. An incredible sense of peace of mind.”

Three others who received Pfizer’s booster shots also said they felt better and experienced minimal side effects after taking the extra dose.

Karen Cobb of Sanbornton, New Hampshire, takes care of her two granddaughters, aged two and four. The 69-year-old said she got a booster shot at her local CVS on Sunday because she didn’t want to pass the virus on to her grandchildren, who are currently ineligible for vaccination.

“I’m the treasurer of my city, and even though everyone in the office was fully vaccinated, there was an outbreak. Two women got COVID, and I was in contact with them,” she said.

Cobb, who also suffers from autoimmune diseases, said Monday she had pain in her arm, and on Tuesday she suffered headaches and nausea that lasted until morning.

“But luckily I was able to relax,” she said. “I feel better now that I have a booster to go back to work,” she said.

Wayne Adams, 62, a California resident, received a Pfizer booster Monday at his local Walgreens. Adams, who has underlying health conditions, said it took about 45 minutes to get the third shot, and was painless except for the initial jab.

His job in public transport is considered essential, “so I didn’t have the option of working from home. I didn’t want to bring it home to my wife or other members of my family,” he said.

“I want to have a normal Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday party for my kids and grandchildren, and it’s the right thing to do and the vaccine is the way forward for all of us,” he said.

Alberto Jacinto, 29, who said he lied to get his third dose of Pfizer vaccine, told his local pharmacy that he already had the condition.

He said he thought he needed to get a booster because he was traveling for work to a city in northwest Texas, which has low vaccination rates. He said he got his extra dose in late August when he learned CVS was offering a third shot.

“It’s a college town, and so I wasn’t going to take any risks with the students here,” he said.

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