What is a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot?
A booster shot is an additional dose of the vaccine which helps to increase your immunity. A booster shot is given to an already vaccinated population who have completed primary vaccination series (currently one or two doses depending on the vaccine brands). The objective of a booster dose is to restore vaccine effectiveness. Covid-19 booster vaccines are now being recommended by the Kenyan Government to help people maintain continuous protection from the Covid-19 virus.
According to the Ministry of Health of Kenya, there are 246,400 booster doses that have been administered as of 24th February 2022. COVID-19 booster shots are the same ingredients (formulation) as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, the dose is half of the amount of the vaccine people get for their primary series.
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Why is it important?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), current data indicates that most people have strong protection against serious illness and death for at least six months. After that, with time, the immunity and clinical protection may decrease. Immunity may reduce faster in older people, who have underlying medical conditions, or who have a high level of exposure to the virus. Booster shot restore theprotection you have from the initial dose of the vaccine. You can read more about Covid-19 vaccines here.
Who can get the COVID-19 booster shot?
You can receive the booster shot if you are:
- 18 years + and fully vaccinated with the two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or the
- 18 years + and fully vaccinated with the one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
To receive booster shot, the Ministry of Health highly recommends for one to wait for at least 90 days after being fully vaccinated. If you are tested COVID 19 Positive after your vaccination, you should consider a booster shot 90 days after you test Negative.
If the vaccines work, why do I need a booster shot?
The focus of COVID-19 immunization efforts remains to decrease death cases and protect the health care system, ensuring patient safety, infection prevention and control, and safety standards. There have been new variants of the COVID-19 virus that can be less responsive to the antibodies a person developed from the initial dose. A booster shot helps ensure that you are sufficiently protected and maintain a strong level of immunity.
What are the COVID-19 booster shot side effects?
The common side effects include soreness around the area of injection, mild headache, nausea, fever, chills, and fatigue. This also varies from person to person as some experience no side effects at all. Side effects are normal signs that the body is building immunity, and they wear off in a few days. Consult a doctor or health care provider regarding medicine for pain and discomfort experienced after getting vaccinated.
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Where can I get a vaccine booster?
Kindly visit the health care facility where you received your initial doses and inquire about a booster vaccine between 8:00 am and 5:00pm. Remember the booster shot is offered free of charge.
In Dadaab, vaccines are available at the Hagadera Refugee Camp Hospital, Ifo Hospital, and the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Dagahaley. Only initial doses of the vaccines are being offered in Dadaab. In Kakuma, Covid-19 vaccines are available across all IRC-run health facilities and AIC Clinic 5.
If you are seeking to get a booster shot and you are in Nairobi, you may check with the facilities listed below. These are the health facilities that have been offering COVID-19 vaccines in Nairobi.
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