SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As of today, all three COVID-19 vaccines distributed in KELOLAND are being recommended for booster shots. This afternoon, the FDA Advisory Panel recommended approval of the Johnson & Johnson booster.
According to the CDC, booster shots are needed because the antibodies that protect us against the virus decrease over time in some people, which is a concern with the more contagious Delta variant.
Pfizer’s booster is already available — Moderna and Johnson & Johnson should be coming soon. The Johnson & Johnson booster is a little different, it’s approved as a second shot for all recipients at least two months after the first shot.
“Now this was just an FDA subcommittee similar to the Moderna discussion yesterday so this has to go through the CDC next week and so it will still be another week or so before we are able to start giving boosters of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson,” said Dr. David Basel.
Sanford’s Chief Physician, Dr. Jeremy Cauwels says anyone who has any reason to believe they don’t have a normal immune system, because of illness, medication or age, you should get a booster.
Tom Hanson: If a healthy person wanted to get a shot just because they wanted that added protection, should they get it?
“What I would say right now is Sanford Health is not recommending additional doses outside of the current FDA recommendations,” said Cauwells.
Cauwels says for most healthy people the data shows the original vaccines are still providing enough protection. Some wonder if they can get a Pfizer booster if they got the Moderna vaccine.
Dr. Cauwels says the UK and Canada have been actively mixing vaccines for some time now.
“In the United States I don’t expect early approval of mixing vaccines, but if you look at the studies that were done in Canada or the UK, I think it is reasonable to say that if you got a dose either accidentally or on purpose that was different than your original series, you’re still probably quite safe and quite well protected,” said Cauwels.
Side effects mirror the original shots, most common are a sore arm, and sometimes temporary low-grade fever and chills. As it stands now, the Pfizer booster is available now in KELOLAND, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson should be available in the coming weeks.
Sanford Health is holding another COVID-19 and flu vaccine clinic Saturday morning at the Imaginetics building on the main campus in Sioux Falls.