OU Health's Chief COVID-19 Provides Update As Oklahoma Sits 7th In Nation For New Virus Cases

Wednesday, September 8th 2021, 5:27 pm
By: Erica Rankin

Oklahoma sits at seventh in the nation for new cases of COVID-19 in the past week.

The World Health Organization renewed calls for a moratorium on booster doses on Wednesday to make sure other countries have the chance to get their hands on the vaccine.

“The ones we worry about are those with severe disease, have difficulty breathing, and they have to be on a mechanical ventilator, and those patients may be in the hospital for weeks at a time,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health’s Chief COVID officer. 

The one thing that will help to avoid that is the vaccine  

Bratzler said there are breakthrough cases that land a handful of fully vaccinated people in the hospital, but he said there is an underlying factor in the majority of those who are hospitalized after a breakthrough case. 

For those over 65 or with comorbidities, Bratzler urged them to get their booster dose, which has been approved by the FDA already. 

The question remains; will someone like a healthy college age student need that booster?

“I just don’t know that we have that data yet, so we’re all interested in what the CDC and FDA will recommend later this month about giving booster doses and who should get them,” said Bratzler. 

As for coming out with a more specific vaccine to target the Delta variant, Bratzler said that's in the works. 

“Pfizer and Moderna are working on reformulated vaccines to specifically target the Delta variant but I don’t know the timeline for that,” said Bratzler.