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COVID vaccine booster shot expected to be recommended soon

Posted at 10:32 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 02:40:42-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — With a rise in covid-19 cases, especially the delta variant, for more protection against the virus booster shots are expected recommended officially soon.

For those who received both doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Public health officials are now urging the immunocompromised to get a third booster shot to help build up a stronger immunity to covid-19.

“It is believed that either a third or up to a half of the population that maybe didn't have as much of a response to the first two doses. Would be responsive to this third dose of the vaccine,” said Brynn Carrigan with Kern County Public.

Last week the FDA and CDC gave the green light of approval for the immunocompromised to receive their booster shot to those who need to maintain a high level of protection against covid-19.

Carrigan said this includes those who have a severely weakened immune system.

“You have to be under active cancer treatment for tumors or cancer of the blood an organ transplant recipient taking medications of the blood or a stem cell recipient within the last two years,” said Carrigan.

This also includes those who are under medication that suppresses the immune system or dealing with HIV.

“People can go to any vaccination provider that offers the Pfizer or Moderna and they can obtain their third dose. They just need to indicate that they have one of these specific criteria,” said Carrigan.

Carrigan said this third dose is not recommended for the general public at this time.

“This third dose is simply an additional layer of protection for those at the highest risk for severe illness or death,” said Carrigan.

Latest reports show that the US is expected to soon announce the recommendation for a third booster shot eight months after the original two doses. Pfizer announced in a press release on Monday that they've released results from the phase one trials to the FDA.

Initial studies show antibody levels against the delta variant were five times higher after the third shot for people aged 18-55 and more than 11 times higher for those 65 to 85.

Whether this becomes a yearly shot Carrigan said it's too early to tell.

“There are some vaccines like the flu shot that have to change the formula of that shot every single year because the formula of the flu changes every year. and they try to develop a flu shot to what they think the flu will look like that year. So, it's hard to tell how covid is going to pan out,” said Carrigan.

Testing for a booster shot of the vaccine is currently in phase 2 trials, and Pfizer said Monday that phase 3 trials would begin "shortly."