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More people getting booster shot than first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Both CDC and Ohio data show that more people are getting their booster shot than getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Only a select group of people are eligible for the booster shot, yet right now, more people are getting a booster shot than the actual vaccine.

More than 40,000 Ohioans have received a booster shot since Monday. Compare that to the number of first doses administered in the same time period, which is less than 15,000.

Columbus Health partnered with Columbus Fire Station 18 Thursday to provide booster shots, flu shots and first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. No one from Columbus Public Health was available for an interview, but they did tell 10TV the drive-thru clinics are popular for the booster shot.

Columbus Public Health is not alone. Central Ohio Primary Care also said booster shots have been popular.

“It's almost exclusively. We're giving boosters and not first doses,” said Dr. Kristin Devor, a family medicine physician.

Dr. Devor said many patients have come in with questions about the booster shot. Particularly, if the vaccine is so effective, then why does it need a booster?

“What we're seeing is some waning immunity in those who are in an immunocompromised state, to begin with, and so after a certain amount of months, which we’ve deemed is about six months, we see that dip in immunity in certain populations. So they are the groups of people that we need to booster,” she said.

Currently, a booster shot is only available for certain populations of Pfizer vaccine recipients. Next week, a panel will meet to discuss the possibility of a booster for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. 

As for the side effects of the booster, Dr. Devor said they are minor.

“Low-grade fever, body aches, fatigue. I haven't seen anything more significant than that,” she said.

The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said 2,000 boosters were administered as of Thursday with another 3,000 boosters in the coming weeks.

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