(Photo by CDC on Unsplash)

By S. J. Giorgianni Jr. 

Men’s Health Network (MHN) applauds the recommendations from CDC and NIH announced on Aug. 18 to make COVID-19 booster vaccinations available for those who are at higher risk of COVID-19 infections, including nursing home residents, health-care providers, and those over 65 years of age. These were the majority of those to first get vaccinated in December and January. MHN also urges the FDA to move with all due urgency to not only approve booster vaccinations but also grant full marketing approval to the three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S.

Assuming FDA approval of these booster recommendations, they are expected to be available to all eligible Americans, free of charge, beginning the week of Sept. 20.  People should begin getting the third vaccination starting eight months after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Data from studies of a booster vaccination in immunocompromised patients have shown side-effects from a third jab to be the same as seen with the initial two doses. A booster vaccination for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is anticipated to be available in early fall or winter of this year. 

COVID-19 continues to pose a real and substantial danger to the health of all and continues to put strains on almost every aspect of our lives, our families, our communities, our healthcare systems and our nation. These boosters will provide long-term and durable protection against hospitalization and death and are critical to curbing COVID-19. 

Men are at particular risk of dangerous outcomes if they contract COVID-19. While this dangerous virus and its mutations infect males and females at approximately the same rate, approximately 56% of the deaths associated with COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and worldwide occur in males. While the reasons for this are not yet clear, it should be noted that men are more likely to suffer from medical conditions such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and those conditions are associated with more severe infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The fact is that men die at higher rates from 9 out of the 10 leading causes of death in America and are now dying at higher rates from COVID-19.

Men’s Health Network urges men to talk with a physician, pharmacist, nurse or other health care professional in their community about COVID-19. They can provide you with advice about the virus that is specific to you, your family and your community. 

Read about the impact of COVID-19 on male minority and vulnerable populations here.

We urge men to man-up to COVID and get the jab. If you have completed the first two vaccinations, get the booster 8 months after your final dose. 

If you have not gotten fully vaccinated, get vaccinated. We also encourage men, particularly fathers and grandfathers, to bring those you love and care about with you so they can also get the jab.

Dr. S. J. Giorgianni Jr. is an advocate for men’s health and a recognized expert in men’s health is one of the Founders and Chair-Emeritus of the American Public Health Association’s Men’s Health caucus. He is Senior Science Adviser and spokesperson for the Men’s Health Network in Washington D.C.

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