Baystate doctor addresses possible COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for some immunocompromised people | News
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The FDA is expected to authorize emergency use of a COVID-19 booster shot for those with a weakened immune system.
We are hearing from Baystate Health that this booster shot would be available to certain immunocompromised individuals, but they do not yet have specifics. In the meantime, people we spoke with believe this is a signal that booster shots could be available to everyone soon.
“It’s going to be like the flu. You’re going to get them every year from here on out for the next 20,” said Leonard Byrd of Connecticut.
Maribel Duran added, “I think they should do it, just to be safe.”
Area residents shared their thoughts as the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve a COVID-19 booster shot for the immunocompromised. Western Mass News got answers for you from Dr. Armando Paez, chief of the Division of Infection Diseases at Baystate Medical Center, as to what this means.
“The booster shot is meant to increase the immunity by the primary series of vaccination,” Paez explained.
The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce within the next 48 hours that it is authorizing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for some people who are immunocompromised, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
Paez told Western Mass News there is not a lot of public data when it comes to the booster shot, but he said the need for someone immunocompromised to get a booster shot comes down to the level of antibodies.
“The studies, at least the most accurate that we have, is they’ve been measured all these levels of antibodies. The question really is for how long the level of antibodies will be maintained, how much decreased in the level of antibodies of immunocompromised patients,” Paez noted.
We asked Paez directly once emergency use authorization goes through, when could those first shots start going out?
“Based on the limited data that has been published, for example, in transplant patients, they have given the booster shot two months after the last one in a very limited of number,” Paez added.
As for ensuring the approved shots are only going to those immunocompromised, Paez said, “The details of the process likely needs to be determined. Probably, of course, I’m just guessing probably the vaccination center would require some form of documentation.”
Paez said the booster shots will likely be administered at established vaccination sites.