DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or a booster shot, is awaiting FDA approval. So far, experts believe the dose will be needed eight months after getting the second shot, with many hoping this will be the extra protection people need.
“In some of the studies that they’ve performed that immunity to COVID is starting to lower, particularly in the Moderna and Pfizer,” said Dr. Patrick Lytle, vice president of clinical outcomes for Kettering Health.
For people who’ve gotten two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna, Lytle said a third booster shot would hopefully further prevent people from getting COVID-19 and other strains. “We’re also seeing vaccinated patients getting delta. This virus continues to mutate. The thought process that as you boost your immunity you’ll be able to fight this variant.”
Currently, only immunocompromised people are eligible for a third dose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that roughly 3 percent of the American population falls into that category.
“Individuals who have that depressed immune system just don’t mount the initial response to get them the level of protective antibodies. So, that third dose can produce a more robust response,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer for Miami Valley Hospital.
Places like Meijer Pharmacy remain on the forefront of vaccinating those who are currently eligible and immunocompromised. “Eligible patients might include those living with organ or stem cell transplants, cancer, primary immunodeficiency, some people with HIV, and those receiving immunosuppressant medication,” said Nicole DiSabito, a clinical pharmacy specialist for Meijer.
If the booster becomes available for all, Lytle feels it’ll go to people in high risk environments first. “From a booster standpoint look at your risks. Health care workers should strongly consider it, and then the elderly for sure.”