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Alabama health leaders watching Pfizer’s 3rd booster shot

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Wednesday, during a company meeting Pfizer announced that their trial COVID vaccine booster shot is showing very promising results against Delta variant. A third dose could possibly provide even better protection against the virus.

The Pfizer vaccine has required two doses for immunization but the company says tests show that people between the ages 18 and 55 who get a third booster shot, increase antibodies five-fold. In people ages 65 to 85 antibodies increase 11-fold.

The head of the Alabama Hospital Association says he likes what he is hearing.

“The idea that there is a booster which will boost immune responses against the Delta variant is very encouraging,” Dr. Don Williamson said.

But, Dr. Williamson says the CDC and FDA will require a lot more testing and data before giving the pharmaceutical company approval for the third shot. Williamson says the booster shot will first rollout for certain groups.

“It may be targeted to everybody 65 and older and those immunosuppressed, immunocompromised. It may be targeted to only those immunocompromised,” Williamson said.

Williamson said the Delta variant is scary because it is spreading so quickly among the unvaccinated in Alabama.

Pfizer’s news is welcomed but Williamson still has concerns.

“The people who will line up to get the booster shots, already got the first two shots. They are not the people driving this transmission. The transmission is being driven by the unvaccinated,” Williamson said.

Williamson said it’s not known for sure when the 3rd booster shot will be okayed. It could be later this year or next year. A lot of study is still needed. One lingering questions is whether those who took the Moderna vaccines can switch over to Pfizer.

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