I got my shot, but the booster not so much

  • Saturday, August 28, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

Yeah, I’ll get the booster. I might even ask for a double, just in case.

The CDC, which is now running the country, told me I need it and very few, including the media, have the temerity to take on the CDC.

“A booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability,” the CDC announced.

Good enough for me.

Not so fast. This just in, as we say in the news business.

Some other scientists, who are pretty smart and don’t work for the government, are highly critical of the Biden administration’s push for booster shots.

“People are still highly protected against severe disease, hospitalization and death. This is what vaccines are supposed to do,” said Dr. Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University, CNBC reported.

Durbin also said that any so-called “breakthrough” infections are presenting as nothing more serious than a moderate cold. Even the FDA agrees and maintains that boosters might be more appropriate for folks who are severely immunocompromised, according to the report.

“There isn’t enough data to support the third booster for all at this point,” Dr. Priya Sampathkumar, an epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic, told CNBC.

I’m not a scientist, but Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic seem like pretty reliable sources for medical information.

I believe in science. Whose science am I supposed to believe? I’d really rather not have some strange emergency-approved cocktail injected into my body if it isn’t absolutely necessary. I’ll deal with the cold. On the other hand, I realize that rejecting our government’s advice is akin to asking for a course of leeches instead of a vaccine. I’m also aware that such a stance could get me banned from social media, which I might care about if I was on social media.

In the spring, I had the vaccine, administered at the local public library, which seemed like a sketchy choice of venues to inoculate the citizenry. Who knows where those books have been?

More interesting than the shot itself was the 15-minute, let’s-see-if-anyone keels-over waiting period. I had a bit of a cough that day, though I had tested negative for COVID. I stifled the cough for obvious reasons. Clearly, if the overseers thought I was too far gone to be useful, my organs would be ripe for the harvesting. The government has been looking for an excuse to get its hands on my pancreas. I also hadn’t ruled out the possibility of a “Soylent Green” situation; a shout-out to my conspiracy theorist friends out there. By the way, the dystopian thriller was set in 2022. Look it up and beware of Sloppy Joe.

I left the library with no side effects. I did, however, get a sticker and my vaccination card; each verification that I have been vaccinated and am therefore better than those who remain skeptical and unvaccinated.

As an aside, I do wonder how many boosters it will take before the TSA eases up on mask mandates, which have now been extended until at least January.

The airlines are vigilant about masks, less so about getting you to your destination on time. The heightened vigilance makes sense because flight attendants have a lot less to do now that they’re no longer serving snacks. They do warn you that if you fall asleep and your mask falls below your nose, they will not hesitate to wake you. I saw it happen the other day. A guy across the aisle was in his fourth REM cycle when the flight attendant shook him by the shoulder. He was startled.

“What?! What?! Mom?”

The flight attendant pointed to her nose, which I suppose is now the universal signal to pull up your mask. So, if you’re playing charades, you’ll have to come up with something else.

Still, the question remains. To booster or not to booster? I might wait on this one, let it marinate a bit. Wait for some other smart people to weigh in. As we’ve already learned, there’s nothing more helpful during a pandemic than a multitude of conflicting opinions.

Rich Manieri is a Philadelphia-born journalist and author. You can reach him at

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