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COVID booster shots: a personal saga

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I got my second Pfizer shot a little more than six months ago. I don’t qualify for a booster on the basis of age, but I was looking at the CDC guidelines for booster eligibility this morning after posting about COVID vaccine stats, and discovered that the agency considers “overweight” (BMI 25-29.9) a “co-morbidity” that ought to make somebody eligible for a booster dose.

This is pretty hilarious in a not-funny way because:

(1) The big study the CDC cites for this actually shows a relative risk of less than 1.0 in the overweight category for COVID-related hospitalization, ICU admission, and death, relative to the reference category of “ideal weight” (BMI 18.5-24.9). This means that the risk of these outcomes was actually higher in the ideal weight category than the overweight category.

(2) 73% of American adults have a BMI of 25 or over, so this single (bogus) co-morbidity by itself makes nearly three quarters of the under-65 population eligible for a booster, although I realize boosters haven’t been approved for the other vaccines yet.

Anyway, I dropped by my local Walgreens and they said they were out and wouldn’t have any until next week, so I went to the Safeway next door, which said sure just fill out this form. The form listed some co-morbidities that I don’t have (asthma, diabetes, heart conditions, maybe a couple of others), but nothing that would make me eligible. This turned out to have no effect on the process however, as the pharmacist glanced at the form and my vaccination card, and told me to come back in half an hour.

Your mileage may vary of course but based on this N=1 I’d say we aren’t looking at an airtight regulatory process here or anything, so give it a whirl if you’re on Team Pfizer, even if you’re as thin as Tom Cruise (Whoops, at 5’7″ 170 Cruise is solidly in the middle of the overweight category so nevermind).

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