Great news came from Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU's Chief COVID-19 Officer, who said Friday afternoon that the state hit a peak and we are seeing cases slowly trail off. He also said new recommendations from the FDA Advisory Panel will only help us.
In a 16-2 vote the advisory panel to the FDA rejected the widespread recommendation of the Pfizer booster shot.
“A young high school adolescent teenager that is fully vaccinated, their immune system probably protects them for a longer period of time, so I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Bratzler.
In a second vote, the advisory panel unanimously recommended the booster shot for people with high-risk conditions and people 65 years or older.
“In a study by the CDC, 37% of breakthrough infections of COVID-19 occurred in fully vaccinated individuals that were 65 and older so I think it makes complete sense in the elderly,” he said.
Bratzler said administering the booster shot to these groups will relieve other parts of the health care system strained by the pandemic.
“I’m really hoping that if we can start pushing booster doses to people who are particularly high risk, the elderly, and chronic conditions we will see case counts come down and fewer people in the hospital,” he said.
Oklahomans who fall under these categories could get their booster shot as early as next week.
“Our team already has planned a big event at the Children’s Hospital next Saturday where we could give, I think up to 5,000 booster doses,” said Bratzler.
He wanted to remind Oklahomans this is only for people who have the Pfizer vaccine. If you have the Moderna or Janssen vaccine you should wait until further recommendations from the FDA panel.
He said he hasn’t seen data regarding a Janssen booster shot but anticipates a recommendation about a third Moderna shot in the future.