CORONAVIRUS

Utah doctor calls Pfizer booster shots for all adults important to ending pandemic

Nov 10, 2021, 5:11 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Pfizer asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine booster for everyone 18 and older. Some adults were already eligible for the booster and Pfizer now wants authorization for all adults. 

Right now, people are only eligible for the Pfizer or Moderna boosters if they’re over 65, a healthcare provider, or at high risk. An infectious disease doctor at Saint Mark’s Hospital/MountainStar Healthcare thinks the boosters are an important step to rid our community of the virus. 

“We’ve still got a lot of COVID, right? Here in Utah, we’re not doing so hot,” said Dr. Mark Oliver. 

He said the trial data shows vaccine boosters are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

“The majority of our elderly people are getting vaccinated and that is protecting them. The reason we’re seeing younger people dying from COVID is because they’re not getting vaccinated,” Oliver explained. 

Federal health officials expressed concern that protection from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines waned to about 70% after six months. 

“Even over a period of six months, these vaccines don’t work as well as when we first got them,” said Dr. Oliver. “So, a booster can restore that immunity.” 

It could be as high as 95% protection, even while Delta is the dominant strain, according to the trial data Pfizer collected. 

“We know these vaccines work,” the doctor said. “They protect against disease. More importantly, they protect against hospitalization and death, that’s the biggest benefit of these vaccines.” 

People who got a Pfizer or Moderna shot six months ago may get a booster if they are at least 65, at risk of severe COVID-19 due to a medical condition, or at risk due to living conditions or work. If you got the Johson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago, you are eligible for the second dose now. 

According to the Utah Department of Health, more than 235,000 eligible Utahns have rolled up their sleeves for either a booster or third dose since August 13. 

Oliver recommends sticking with the same vaccine but, it’s also safe to mix. As the pandemic continues, so does the stress for caregivers. 

“It’s really hard to see young people dying from this day after day after day, especially when you know that the majority of those deaths are preventable,” the doctor said.
Early in the pandemic, he said, it was the elderly dying from COVID-19 in the hospital. Today, it’s people in their 30s and 40s. 

“A lot of them are healthy, and they come in and they’re dying from COVID because they’re not getting vaccinated.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

...
Associated Press

CDC drops traveler health notices for individual countries

The CDC is doing away with notices about the COVID-19 risk of visiting specific countries.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
2 months ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

WHO: COVID end ‘in sight,’ deaths at lowest since March 2020

The head of the World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus deaths last week was the lowest reported number in the pandemic since March 2020, marking what could be a turning point in the years-long global outbreak.
2 months ago
A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
2 months ago
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 08: People walk by a closed store at a neighborhood designated as a medium-r...
Laura He, CNN Business

Zero- COVID-19 at what price? Chinese researchers are treading on sensitive ground

Authorities in Shanghai have denied a report by a leading Chinese real estate research firm that claimed more than a third of shops in a major mall had been shuttered because of strict COVID-19 curbs.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Utah doctor calls Pfizer booster shots for all adults important to ending pandemic