State Health Leaders Weigh In On When To Offer Booster Shots


Wednesday, October 13th 2021, 7:25 pm
By: Erica Rankin


OKLAHOMA CITY -

After a recent study out of the United Kingdom, the question was raised, are we giving second doses of the vaccine too soon?

The study focused on people over 80 years old who received the Pfizer vaccine.

It reported if the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was given 12 weeks after the prime dose instead of three weeks, there was a better antibody response.

But Oklahoma State Department Health officials hesitate to say that's really the case.

"It found delaying the dose by 12 weeks led to an antibody response that was three and a half times larger than when the vaccine doses were kept to the standard recommendation," said Dr. Gitanjali Pai, the chief medical officer for OSDH.

Pai said she's not quite convinced waiting for the second dose is the best decision, largely due to the study's finding on t-cell response, which is a marker for long term immunity.

"On the other hand, they also found the three-week intervals between the doses generated a higher peak t-cell response than the delayed strategy," Pai said.

Pai said the time frame of waiting three weeks for the second dose of Pfizer and four weeks for Moderna's vaccine is based off of large-scale clinical trials that have been done globally, among thousands of people and have already been deemed safe and effective.

"I'll say that data is being assessed not only nationally but globally and all of the knowledge we continue to gather will allow us to optimize vaccination protocols going forward and maximize protection against SARS-CoV-2 in our population which is ultimately what we all want," Pai said.