APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)-The Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 years and older.
Will this convince more people to roll up their sleeves and get the shot?
“There have been some studies that indicate that 30 percent of the people who refused the vaccine before would be willing to get it if the FDA granted full approval,” says Dr. Jennifer Frank who is the Chief Medical Officer at ThedaCare.
According to Wisconsin DHS data, about 54 percent of Wisconsinites have at least one dose of the vaccine.
“It’s one of the things we’ve been very hopeful for that once the vaccine got approved it would help to encourage a certain segment of the population to get vaccinated,” says Frank.
The Pfizer vaccine is the first of the three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States to get full FDA approval. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have emergency use authorization from the FDA.
“They (Moderna and Pfizer) are highly motivated to get approved as well, their timeline was just a little bit behind, but I’d anticipate that that (full approval) will come,” says Frank.
Doctors still want people to get vaccinated saying it’s our best tool to get out of the pandemic. Soon getting out of the pandemic may include getting a booster shot.
The booster shot is for the general population and doctors say it’s needed because immunity naturally wanes over time.
Doctors say people should get booster shots eight months after getting their first dose of the vaccine and boosters will likely be available to the public in the near future.
“An idea of needing a booster shot is familiar to most of us, we get a booster for tetanus and our flu shot each year,” says Dr. David Brooks who is the Medical Director of Infectious Disease at ThedaCare.
On Aug. 12, the FDA amended the emergency use authorizations for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to allow for third shots for people with compromised immune systems. Third shots are designed for those who didn’t get enough protection from the original doses of the vaccine.
These individuals include those who have had cancer, organ transplants, or other ailments that significantly weakened their immune systems.
The booster shot and a third shot are not the same thing.
Winnebago County is offering third shots for those who qualify at the following locations:
- Walk-in Wednesday Clinic at Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh. This clinic is typically open 1 p.m.-6p.m on Wednesdays, but for the next two weeks (Aug. 25 and Sept. 1) and hours are extended and it is open 11a.m.-6 p.m. More info here.
- Regional vaccine tour sites in Winnebago, Calumet and Outagamie county. Dates and locations are here.
- Oshkosh Public Library vaccine clinic on Aug. 27 and Aug. 31. More info here.
A Winnebago County health officials tells Local Five that right now there’s plenty of third shots to go around for those with compromised immune systems.