Answering your questions about the COVID-19 booster shot

Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 17:18:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The FDA and CDC have approved booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for specific individuals. President Joe Biden says 20 million Americans are now able to take a third dose.

Who is eligible?

"To be clear, it's only for Pfizer recipients at this point. The first group that's eligible are individuals that are greater than 65 that are more than 6 months out from their last vaccination. The second group that's eligible is individuals 18 to 64 that are more vulnerable and susceptible to critical illness if they get infected. The last group that's eligible are individuals who are 18 to 64 that are front line workers," Dr. Thomas Russo, Chief of Infectious Disease at the Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo, said.

If you have two doses of Moderna or one dose of Johnson and Johnson, can you still get the Pfizer booster?

"Those individuals who have been vaccinated with Moderna or Johnson and Johnson have not been authorized to receive this booster shot," Dr. Russo said.

Do doctors offices already have the vaccine for the booster shots?

"Yes, and it's the same vaccine. It's not any different at all," Dr. Raul Vazquez, a physician at Urban Family Practice, said.

Will your office be reaching out to those who are eligible for the shot?

"Yes, we have a data base that makes automatic calls," Dr. Vazquez said.

Have people already been reaching out to see when they can get their booster shot?

"Yes, We've probably had people reaching out over the past month or two about boosters," Dan Stapleton, Public Health Director of Niagara County, said, "The number one priorty is still getting people vaccinated who have never been vaccinated."

Do you think this will become like a yearly booster shot?

"I don't think yearly. It may become something that is like a tetanus shot where you get a booster every ten years. That may be something that might come out," Dr. Vazquez said.

New York State must give the final approval before booster shots are administered.