Now that the path is cleared for booster shots from the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, will those third jabs be readily available in rural Arizona?
Approval of the Moderna boosters for those age 65 or older and those with medical condition or high exposure is relevant to Mohave County and elsewhere in non-metropolitan areas of the state.
The Moderna vaccine is the one most available in rural areas because it doesn’t require specialized cooling equipment. Thankfully, studies are showing it to be the most effective as well.
The approval process for boosters has been mind-numbing in its bureaucratic repetition, essentially winding up with the blessing of both the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control that mirrored booster reviews for other vaccines.
One difference with Moderna boosters is that they are half the strength of the original two shots.
None of this may matter to the majority of Mohave County residents since only 38 percent of the total population and 43 percent of the eligible population has received only one shot.
For the rest, and for the government agencies that act as clearing houses for dissemination information, the rollout bears watching.
Those who have received vaccinations so far do so understanding there is no 100 percent certainty about vaccine effectiveness, longevity, or side effects.
Government officials, at least those who are truthful and human, do their best to explain this. Some of the public harsh perceptions of the government’s handling of the pandemic would be softened if leaders conceded how mistakes occur in a rapidly evolving viral outbreak.
Governments at the state and local level would do the public a great service by updating booster information on their websites. Accurate and fresh information helps with the trust issues.
No one is being forced to get vaccinated. Their call, though we encourage everyone to make fully informed decisions that can truly be life or death.
Those who want the vaccine boosters should be able to get them, with just a little help from state and county governments to facilitate the effort.
— Today’s News-Herald