By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The CDC says everyone over the age of 18 is now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot.

More than 2.2 million people in Florida have gotten their additional shot. That’s less than a quarter of those fully vaccinated.

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Maryann Venancio is opting for another dose of COVID-19 protection.

“I have chronic Lyme, and I see an infectious disease doctor, and he advised me that I would be a really good candidate for a booster,” said Venancio.

Health officials say COVID-19 vaccines are doing a good job preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, even against the delta variant. Still, waning immunity is a concern.

“Boosting gives you that bigger immune response from your original vaccine, and it also helps you fight delta better,” said Dr. Melanie Swift.

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Dr. Swift, who is with the Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, says people getting a booster can expect side effects like a sore arm.

“Fatigue, general muscle weakness and headache – those are more common in younger people. The older you are, the less likely you are to have those side effects. It’s very similar for boosters to the pattern that was seen in dose two of the mRNA vaccines,” said Dr. Swift.

After your shot, stay home and take it easy. To alleviate symptoms, you can drink plenty of fluids, and take an over the counter pain reliever if necessary. Dr. Swift adds not having a reaction does not mean your shot didn’t work.

“The side effects that we get are due to that robust immune reaction, but our immune reaction is probably more robust than it actually has to be to protect us. And not everybody feels those symptoms the same way,” Dr. Swift said.

She says most importantly, if you haven’t received your first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time.

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Research from Israel on older adults shows rates of COVID-19 and severe illness were much lower among people who received a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Team