Shopping list

Put the booster shot at the top of your shopping list

It was like the Christmas toy that every kid seemed to want: Zhu Zhu Pets in 2009, or a Furby in 1998, or Mr. Potato Head in 1952.

People were willing to travel long distances to get vaccinated rather than waiting for an appointment nearby. Long Islanders crossed the Sound to crash land in Connecticut.

Then suddenly they seemed as popular with the next wave of potential consumers as that dusty Cabbage Patch Doll in the attic.

Now, at the end of the year, Governor Ned Lamont is working hard to initiate booster shots. They seem about as popular as an accessory sale to go with that 1975 Pet Rock. It’s also complicated by the fact that not everyone got the same product in the first place.

“If you were vaccinated more than six months ago, do your booster,” Lamont said. “If you were vaccinated more than two months ago with Johnson & Johnson, do your booster. We are working with pharmacies at this time, if you think you might be at risk in any way please do your recall.

Yes, the governor used the same expression three times in three sentences. In case you miss it, it’s quite simple: make your reminder.

The holiday season is full of distractions, but it’s also a time to reflect on the past. In the case of the pandemic, we need go back no further than 12 months ago, when progress in the war against COVID-19 accelerated. Temperatures are now dropping noticeably in Connecticut, sending more people indoors, where the virus is spreading faster.

We’re almost a week away from Thanksgiving, and the latest numbers point to another spike. The positivity rate in Connecticut is the highest in nearly three months. COVID-19 hospitalizations were also the highest in nearly a month.

Lamont is trying to hold Connecticut as a model for the rest of the nation. In this case, he is more aggressive and clearer than the federal regulators. Food and Drug Administration regulations can be confusing, even for people who want to receive the booster. Regulations limit eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster to those age 65 and older who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months, as well as anyone age 18 and older with eligible medical conditions or working in high risk environments. Those who received a Johnson & Johnson injection at least two months ago are also eligible.

The FDA was supposed to make at least a few booster shots available to all adults 18 and older, but Lamont himself cuts the line by stating that anyone who feels at risk should go ahead and get the reminder.

Meanwhile, authorities are still pursuing residents who still haven’t received the first shot, as well as the mysterious mob who received a first dose but not a second.

So put this booster shot at the top of your holiday wish list. It’s free and it’s a gift for everyone.