Dr. Thomas explains why booster/third shots are important

Local News

Dr. Manjul Shukla transfers Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Worcester, Mass. Pfizer said Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine may protect against the new omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear significantly less effective. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you’ve already had two doses of Pfizer COVID vaccine, you might consider scheduling your third. A Pfizer-BioNTech laboratory study out this week suggests the extra dose does help against the omicron variant.

“What we know is that in the laboratory, the antibodies that are in the blood of people who got two doses seem to neutralize the virus much less efficiently than the antibodies from somebody who got 3 doses,” said Upstate Global Health Director Dr. Stephen Thomas.

If you’re eligible, he encourages you to get it. “Both of these Messenger RNA vaccines whether it’s Moderna or Pfizer, I believe that they are three dose vaccines,” Dr. Thomas explained. “The schedule on which you’re getting them, you should stick to what the recommendations are.”

While we often hear of a third dose or a booster used interchangeably, there is a difference.

“For Pfizer, it’s the same vaccine for each dose: 30 micrograms, 30 micrograms, 30 micrograms. For Moderna, it’s different – it’s 100, 100, and 50. For Moderna that third dose, that booster dose is half of the first two doses,” said Dr. Thomas.

Regardless of what you get, he said that the third shot helps your immunity and builds antibodies. Dr. Thomas added, “And hopefully will allow you to have a long tail without needing to get vaccinated and protects you against all these different variants.”

According to the CDC, more than 49 million people have received their booster in the United States.

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