Coronavirus Update From New York City: November 18, 2021 (Booster Shot Edition)

As readers can tell from the title of my Coronavirus update post tonight, I got my booster shot in the past week!

Last Friday, I got my booster vaccine shot. I was eligible for the booster because: a) it had been over six months since I got my second shot and b) my body mass index is such that I was eligible for it.

I was originally caught a little off guard by the fact that the booster shots being given out at my vaccine site were Pfizer. I was caught off guard because I thought I had decided to get a Moderna booster shot (matching with the first two vaccine shots I got, which were Moderna), yet here I was, seeing that the booster shots they were giving were for the Pfizer vaccine.

However, while I was waiting on line, I did a little bit of research about mixing and matching vaccines so that your first two shots were from one vaccine but your booster was from another vaccine. I reminded myself that both the Food and Drug Administration[1] and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[2] allow for this mixing and matching–meaning that it is safe to mix and match as I ended up doing (getting the first two shots from the Moderna vaccine and my booster from the Pfizer vaccine). Upon this bit of research, I felt at ease, and realized that I was just fine getting my booster from the Pfizer vaccine, even though my first two shots were from the Moderna vaccine.

So, I got my booster shot, and interestingly, the side effects as a whole weren’t quite as bad as they were after I got my second Moderna shot last April. I ran a fever that approached 100F, had an absolutely pounding headache for a good portion of the day last Saturday, fatigue, a moderately sore arm, and a loss of appetite. In contrast, with my second shot in late April, all these side effects I had last weekend were as bad or worse, and additionally I had chills (something that I didn’t have last weekend). Still, I would take the side effects of the booster and the second shot combined over not taking a vaccine and getting the virus.

What I hope I’m conveying in tonight’s post is that: a) getting a booster is safe and b) mixing and matching for your booster is also safe. I could be wrong, but the fact that you can mix and match is just oh so important in places where there’s only one particular type of vaccine that people have easy access to, and that type is different from what they had access to for their first two shots.

So, I hope that people get their booster shots when they are eligible! With COVID on the rise in many parts of the United States again, we want to give ourselves as much protection from the virus as we possibly could, and the booster is something that can help protect us from the virus.

So, that is it for now. I wanted to focus on my experiences with getting the vaccine booster shot. I hope others share their experiences of getting the booster.

Also, as a little side note, I do not plan on publishing a Coronavirus update post next Thursday, which is Thanksgiving. In fact, I don’t plan on publishing any posts during the week of Thanksgiving so that I can give myself a little rest. And when I get back to publishing blog posts after Thanksgiving, I’m planning to do my COVID update posts at a rate of about once a month, instead of once a week, since there isn’t a lot of news for me to report on locally or personally on the pandemic front.


[1] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-takes-additional-actions-use-booster-dose-covid-19-vaccines

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p1021-covid-booster.html

Coronavirus Update From New York City: November 4, 2021

I hope all of my readers are healthy and safe, regardless of where you are living. I also wish a Happy Diwali to all who celebrate it.

In personal news, I have scheduled my appointment to get a vaccine booster shot. My second Moderna vaccine dose was in late April, so between how long it’s been since I got my second shot and the fact that I am overweight (or at least have a Body Mass Index high enough that I’m considered to be part of a population vulnerable to the pandemic), I was eligible to schedule an appointment to get a booster shot. I will get that booster shot on Friday, November 12th. In the COVID update post following my booster shot on the 12th, I will report on how the booster shot experience went (including talk about any side effects I have).

Also on a personal note, I am getting back, slowly but surely, into the swing of doing certain things that I did before the pandemic, such as eating indoors at a restaurant (albeit at restaurants that are relatively empty inside and have good ventilation so as to minimize risk) and attending an indoor gathering with several people not in my COVID “bubble.” While the individual experiences have gone fine so far, I must say that oh boy–it is an adjustment mentally to start getting back into things that I did before the pandemic! My guess is that over time, I will find myself continuing to readjust to things that I did before the pandemic on a regular basis, even if the pandemic situation (with a low level of spread, and a low test positivity rate) in New York City is such that it is safe for me to ease my way back into some activities. All I can say to others in a similar place is to be patient with yourself.

The vaccine mandate for New York City workers is now in effect. And, for all the complaining about the mandate, it has been extremely successful in terms of getting more people vaccinated. The vaccination rates went from 58% to 77% with the fire department, 70% to 85% with the police department, and from 62% to 83% with the sanitation department over the span of a couple of weeks. Among the entire New York City workforce, the vaccination rate has increased by 14% over a span of 10 days.[1] At least in New York City, mandates get people vaccinated.

However, as one can tell by looking at the numbers I just cited, there is still a portion of workers in the aforementioned departments (as well as a few others) that are unvaccinated and are therefore on unpaid leave. In those agencies, there are concerns about staffing shortages. I remain optimistic that those concerns will be short-lived, because I believe that when the reality sets in and people realize that the mandates are not going away (a reality that may set in among some people when they end up missing their first paycheck for unpaid leave because they decided not to get a vaccine shot), I’m guessing that even more people will get a vaccine shot. We’ll see if I’m correct to be optimistic.

That’s pretty much it on my end. I will be interested to hear how others are doing, though!


[1] https://pix11.com/news/local-news/nycs-mandate-officially-enacted-agencies-see-uptick-in-vaccination-rates/