Get a Covid-19 booster when it’s offered


Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will likely need a booster shot after eight months — meaning that those who were first in line to be vaccinated in January are already coming due for their boosters.
CDC officials said that the Food and Drug Administration is now reviewing the efficacy and safety of booster shots, but they will probably become available this fall. We say this: Be prepared to get a booster if and when it is offered.
All of us must do all that we can to eliminate this terrible scourge and restore normalcy to this country. Vaccines, masks and social-distancing requirements are our only real defenses against the coronavirus, for which there is no known cure.
The Covid-19 vaccines are extraordinarily effective in keeping people out of the hospital and preventing death. We are, however, seeing an increasing number of “breakthrough” cases, in which vaccinated people are testing positive for the coronavirus and even getting sick. But their symptoms are most often mild to moderate, officials say.
The overwhelming majority of people who are on ventilators (97 percent) and who are dying (99 percent) are unvaccinated.
As of last Friday, the seven-day Covid-19 infection rate for Long Island had crept up to nearly 4 percent — that is, the Island is now seeing four times as many cases as it did at the start of the summer. Officials attribute the spike to the Delta variant, which has spread across the country like wildfire, particularly in states like Florida and Texas, where people tend to eschew basic safety precautions like masks and social distancing, and the vaccination rate is significantly lower than in the Northeast.
Bottom line: If you haven’t been vaccinated, now is the time. If you have been, be ready for a booster.