For people like me, the recipe for health security right now is two shots and a chaser.

But not the alcoholic kind.

My recipe was two Pfizer vaccines in the spring and a Moderna booster last week. Other folks in the prime of life (the proper way to describe being over 64) or who work high-risk jobs or have certain health conditions may choose a different mix to spruce up their immune system. It depends on your bartender – I mean, doctor or pharmacist.

As of last week, more than 12,000 New Hampshire residents have received a booster dose, roughly 1.5% of all fully vaccinated residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has resumed the Homebound Vaccination program to administer COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses to folks who can’t leave the house.

This is part of the state’s recognition that we face another long pandemic winter, fueled by the Delta variant and by anti-vaccine sentiment from folks who are misguided or deliberately lying. This booster will make me less worried, but I’ll still wear my mask when in another building or an outdoor crowd. 

Boosters are generally half the dose of the full vaccine, which may explain why I didn’t have much reaction to my booster. I felt a little under the weather overnight but that’s about it. Beats the heck out of being intubated because the SARS-CoV2 virus is rampaging through your lungs.

By the way, an old (even older than me!) veteran was getting his booster at the same time. He remembered getting Vietnam-era vaccines from the “guns” that were once used to give shots. He said medics were lined up on both sides and conscripts walked along – wham right shoulder, wham left shoulder; go forward then wham and wham, go forward again until they told you to stop. No whining back then.

I also didn’t react to my seasonal flu shot a week earlier, aside from a sore shoulder. You don’t have to be in the prime of life to get influenza protection; even you whipper-snappers should get that shot!

One final point: I love that “two shots and a chaser” joke but can’t claim it as my own. I encountered it online from uncertain sources. Sometimes the hive mind is pretty funny.

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