SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Some of the most vulnerable have received a third dose of the COVID vaccine after the FDA and CDC’s emergency use approval.
And now there are discussions with top health officials if the United States will offer third doses to everyone.
The Biden administration is checking data daily but right now there are mixed views. Health experts say eventually we may need a third dose, but that should not be the focus right now.
“Mostly the people in the hospital are either unvaccinated or people who were vaccinated and have a very poor immune system and that’s why we’re concentrating on giving that third shot to people who couldn’t really develop a good antibody response with the first two,” Dr. Aruna Subramanian said.
Dr. Subramanian, an infectious disease physician at Stanford, adds those unvaccinated are still at risk.
“The focus is on getting that first and second shot for everybody else who didn’t get those shots before and that’s where we really have to concentrate getting the first and second shot for people with good immune systems and getting now the third shot for people with poor immune systems,” Dr. Subramanian said.
The FDA and CDC’s approval of a third COVID shot for the immunocompromised a first step many health experts believe. But Dr. Ali Hassoun, an infectious disease expert in Huntsville, Alabama, hopes it will pave the way for everyone to get a third shot.
“Honestly I think everybody will end up needing a third booster dose soon,” Dr. Hassoun said.
Needed as an extra line of defense of the surging delta variant.
Under the emergency use authorization, those who’ve received organ transplants or have certain cancers or other disorders should be able to get a third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The Alabama doctor is confident a third dose is safe based on results of several studies.
“Those who had the transplant for example or on chemotherapy and got a third dose and they did not have any safety concern the side effect was similar to the second dose side effect for example the Pfizer vaccine,” Dr. Hassoun said.
But U.C. Berkeley Infectious Disease expert Dr. John Swartzberg agrees with FDA and CDC data.
“What I’m not in accord with is going further than the data shows and that is otherwise healthy people even people my age people over 65 there’s not evidence right now that we need a third jab,” Dr. Swartzbeg said.
The director of the National Institutes of Health says the U.S. could decide in the next couple weeks whether to offer third doses to Americans this fall. If so, the plan maybe beginning first with health care providers, as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward with others, such as the elderly.