Third doses of COVID vaccine now available for some
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Biden Administration is expected to greenlight a COVID-19 booster shot for anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The third shot would be given eight months after the second.
Last week, the FDA approved a third dose for immunocompromised people. Hayat Pharmacy started administering that third dose Monday.
Kelly Fenhaus got her third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
"I have MS, so I'm on a immunocompromising medication," Fenhaus said.
The FDA approved third doses of the vaccine for immunocompromised people because studies show the initial two doses did not provide them with as much immunity as people with healthy immune systems.
"A lot of people are excited," said Dr. Hashim Zaibak, a pharmacist and owner of Hayat Pharmacies. "People have been calling us for ten days now and asking 'when will I be eligible?' Because obviously they have a higher risk, not only a higher risk but also a higher risk of having severe complications and dying of the disease."
The FDA is also expected to announce this week that anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get a booster shot eight months after their second dose, because studies show immunity is weakening over time.
"In Israel we're seeing -- particularly in older individuals who were vaccinated back in January, they're having more breakthrough infections than those who were vaccinated more recently," said Dr. Ben Weston, medical director for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.
But the booster shots won't necessarily help the recent surges in hospitalizations and deaths.
"I don't think booster shots are the key to reversing our current trends," Dr. Weston said. "When we look nationally, other states, even parts of Wisconsin, the vast majority of infections, hospitalizations and deaths are people who haven't received any doses of vaccine."
Fenhaus, who is also a medical professional, hopes more people start getting their first doses.
"It's scary," Fenhaus said. "It's not going away until people start getting vaccinated more and taking it a little bit more seriously."
If you have your vaccine card, you should bring it with you to your third dose.
If not, you can look up your immunization records here: www.dhfswir.org.