Thomas Oatway | Understanding Booster Reluctance

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

John Weaver reported (letters, Feb. 6) that his granddaughter was pregnant and a health care worker. She had been vaccinated (two doses). Her employer has mandated that everyone have a booster shot as a condition of employment. She is contemplating whether to comply, or not. If she does not comply, she will lose her job, financial security and health care benefits.

The reluctance to have a booster is not uncommon. The U.S. has one of the lowest rates of booster shots of any industrialized country. We have 67% who have received two shots. Only 28% have been boosted. This is not a political issue. About the same percentage of Republicans, Democrats and independents have not been boosted. There are multiple reasons for the booster reluctance, including access to health care, misinformation and laziness.

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended boosters six months after the second dose of the vaccine. The effectiveness of the vaccines wanes with time. It is clear that this is a three-dose vaccine for maximum protection. There is no evidence that the booster causes harm to the pregnant woman, the unborn child, or any long-term effects on fertility. About 22% of vaccinated adults will only be boosted if required by employment mandates, etc. Those who refuse boosters under any circumstance represent 19% of adults.

I hope that John Weaver’s granddaughter will choose to receive her booster. The booster has protected many from serious illnesses and deaths due to omicron infection. Health care workers are critically needed. And they should protect their patients.

Thomas Oatway


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