Questions linger around Pfizer’s booster shot

Questions linger around Pfizer's booster shot
Questions linger around Pfizer's booster shot
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Doctors recommend you get the booster shot if you are at least 65 and older or at least 18 with an underlying condition and live or work somewhere that puts you at high risk of exposure.

But some want to know if it’s safe to get Pfizer’s booster after they’ve originally gotten the Moderna or J&J vaccine. With no studies reported on what could happen if you take Pfizer’s booster shot after originally getting one of the other two vaccines, doctors are recommending you play it safe.

“The science behind that is probably okay but they are recommending you stick with the vaccine you got,” said Ochsner’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Ralph Dauterive.

And some are wondering if they have already gotten their vaccines, how important is it to get the booster?

“There’s good data to suggest that 65 and the people with significant health conditions go forward with the boost. Because when you saw the delta surge, the people who were vaccinated that came to the hospital with COVID tended to be these patients who are at significant medical risk for COVID,” Dr. Dauterive continued.

According to Dr. Dauterive, the boosters are not available for everyone because the FDA is concerned the boosters may not be protective against a new variant.

“That’s very difficult to predict. We look at trying to predict that with the flu shot every year. And on a good year they’re 65% correct,” Dr. Dauterive explained.

As for mandating the booster for Ochsner employees, there are no plans as of right now.

While working on this story, we went to Ochsner’s primary vaccination and testing site at the former Runnel School, where people have been lining up all day to get their booster shots. While there, we had a chance to speak with one of those folks.

“The vaccine, it’s working and it’s what I felt I needed to do,” said Margie Williams, who was at the clinic with her husband.

They both have underlying conditions and did not hesitate to sign up for the booster.

“I originally wanted to get it and I said well if a third one is needed then the third one, I’ll take it,” Margie explained.

It’s not what she would like to do, but she says if it will keep her and her family safe, she’ll do what she needs to.

“There’s a little slight soreness and just a little tenderness I had from the first time but it’s no different than when I took the flu shot,” said Margie.

Dr. Dauterive also said he expects to see Moderna follow on the heels of Pfizer and have their vaccine approved by the FDA within a month and possibly Johnson and Johnson’s before the end of the year.

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