Tri-State health care providers seeing interest from patients in COVID-19 vaccine booster dose

Coronavirus Watch

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Some health care providers in the Tri-State are already seeing interest from their patients wanting the next vaccine dose. But there are things people should know before they get the shot.

Owensboro Health and Dubois County Health Department officials say vaccinations have picked up the past several weeks as COVID-19 cases increase.

“We saw about four weeks in a row of an increase in vaccination status and in requests for first doses as well,” said BC Childress, pharmacy director for Owensboro Health.

“It’s on an upward tick, compared to what we are doing a couple weeks ago,” adds Shaun Werner of the DuBois Co. Health Dept.

They’re also getting calls from patients and other residents about getting a booster dose.

“We were getting them the first day the news came out. We had some people drive through and before we were able to set up to give the third dose,” Werner recalled.

The CDC says the third vaccine dose currently applies to those who already got the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine and recommend it to those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. It includes people treated for certain types of cancers, who got organ transplants, or have an immune deficiency.

“They may have not developed as high of levels of antibodies as an average person would with a robust immune system. So, this third dose would boost their antibody levels to a higher level of protection,” said Werner, explaining why people who are immunocompromised need a third dose.

Childress says the third dose would get a person’s immunity to COVID-19 to a higher level, which can drop off more than six months after a second dose.

“What it’s looking like now is when we get to months seven or eight, yes, those immunity levels or antibody levels are starting to wane a little bit. That is what is going to be indicative of maybe it’s time to get that booster,” Childress explained.

As for those who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, health officials say there’s not enough data yet to determine if they will recommend an extra vaccine dose. They add they want to focus on immunocompromised first before giving them to the general public.

(This story was originally published on August 18, 2021)

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