According to KFOR News, a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine is now available in Oklahoma City, according to KFOR News. The FDA approved the use of the third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on September 22, 2021.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health recommends the booster shot to those who have received an mRNA vaccine and those who are 65 years or older, residents of care facilities or those between 50 and 64 years old with underlying medical conditions. The CDC has not endorsed any booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccines, but some are in the works.
According to KFOR News, Oklahoma City-County Health officials plan to start giving out boosters as soon as Oct. 11 in over 400 sites within the metro.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the third dose is not necessary for complete vaccination, but it can be helpful for those who are immunocompromised or at high risk of coronavirus transmission.
Oklahoma Christian University senior Caleb George said he was vaccinated and did not mind the idea of a booster shot.
“It makes perfect sense to me,” George said. “Most other vaccines require boosters, it’s not exactly a new thing.”
George said he supported the vaccine to help keep others safe.
“I’d say I’m for it in the same way as I am for the initial vaccine because it’s something that’s important to protect ourselves and the people around us,” George said.
Acting FDA Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, explained the process of FDA approval for the shot in a press release.
“After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others,” said Woodcock.
The CDC recommends the booster shot be administered at least 6 months after the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series for those at risk.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced their plan of delivering third doses of mRNA vaccines in a press release on Aug. 18, 2021. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the vaccine offers limited protection as time goes on.
“The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease,” Walensky said. “Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout.”
Some students at Oklahoma Christian have conflicted views about the vaccine and the booster shot. Senior Michael Ramey said he is not vaccinated and he does not plan to be.
“In the media, this topic that should be a medical issue has been made into a social and political issue,” Ramey said. “I believe that forcing an insufficiently tested vaccine on the American people is unconstitutional and outside of the bounds of what the government should be allowed to do.”
Ramey said he is not against vaccination in general, but this vaccine seemed extreme.
“From what I have seen from others that have received the shot, the side effects seem to be worse than the actual coronavirus itself,” Ramey said.
Ramey said although he did not agree with this vaccination, he did comply with testing and quarantine procedures to protect others.
Those who wish to receive a booster shot but have not yet received the Pfizer vaccine cannot get the third dose. Walensky said in a press release the CDC will focus on getting the initial vaccination rates to rise.
“While today’s action was an initial step related to booster shots, it will not distract from our most important focus of primary vaccination in the United States and around the world,” Walensky said.