(CBS4)– Health officials have approved coronavirus booster shots for older adults, yet there is still confusion over who should get a third dose. Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida helped clear things up for us on CBSN Denver.
“If you’re confused about what’s going on, you are certainly not alone. I think those of us in healthcare aren’t even sure of where things stand.”READ MORE: As Vaccine Rates Remain Low For Communities Of Color, Door-To-Door Campaigns Help Build Trust In Doctors' Advice
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine in those 65 older, people with underlying medical conditions, and those whose jobs may put them at higher risk for exposure.
“People who are in health care, teachers, grocery workers, people who work in public transit are all technically eligible for the booster.”
The FDA recommends the booster six months after your second dose.
“If you are in a place where you will feel better by being vaccinated with that booster shot, please go ahead and do it. I think that it is a wise decision to make. We’ve been living under this cloud for way too long, and it’s good to see that we have a booster available,” says Dr. Dave.READ MORE: Police In Denver Collect Unwanted Medications On National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
For now, the booster shot is only available to Americans who have received the Pfizer vaccine. Dr. Dave says booster trials for the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are showing promise.
“A third vaccine for Moderna or a second vaccine for J&J are providing a very good immune response. Studies show it actually tripled what the initial immunization series produced, so there’s excellent protection with boosters in both of these products. It’s just going to be a matter of time before they are approved, and I think it’s going to be within the next couple of weeks.”
The Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11 is expected to be approved in the next few weeks as well. The shot is different than the one for adults, in that it is just one-third of the dose.
“Kids in that age group just have such a robust immune system that they don’t need much vaccine in order to produce a good antibody response against the virus.”
Dr. Dave says the hope is the vaccine for young children will be available by Halloween.MORE NEWS: Snowy Conditions On I-70 Cause Issues In Colorado's High Country
“The vaccine in that age group has really shown to be safe, it’s shown to be effective,” says Dr. Dave. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to see this go through. About one out of every five infections now is in children. Even though a lot of kids don’t get very sick from it, there are still more than enough who do. We’ve got to do what we can protect kids.”