Charlotte health officials relying on patient’s word on whether eligible for third vaccine dose


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – In just weeks, the FDA could make a recommendation on when people, regardless of age or medical condition, can get a third dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

A Novant Health doctor says the FDA is poised to make an announcement soon, while some pharmacies are already giving COVID booster shots to people with compromised immune systems.

Novant and Mecklenburg County Public Health tell Fox 46 they rely on people to be honest and take people at their word that they have compromised immune systems and are eligible for a third dose.

Charlotte indoor mask mandate begins Wednesday as board will vote on whether to make it county-wide

The list of people eligible for an additional dose now includes those who are actively fighting cancer, people who recently battled cancer, organ transplant recipients, people with immunodeficiencies, untreated HIV and chronic kidney problems.

A doctor says there is a gray area that’s not exactly defined on who should get a booster shot now.

Talk to your doctor first, especially if you’re unsure.

“I would err on the side of giving that person the third dose. I don’t think we ought to split hairs around who’s going to get this third dose or not going to get this third dose. We have adequate supply of vaccines in this country. We have vaccines going to waste around the country. I think if someone’s on the edge, or in one of those categories or soon to be in one, I think we ought to give them the third dose,” said Dr. David Priest with Novant Health.

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The doctor says health officials are still recommending you stick with the same brand, but there’s not a hard and fast rule. If one brand is unavailable, either Pfizer or Moderna, you can get the other one.

There’s no guidance so far for a second dose of J&J.

The doctor says the next month or two are going to be rough. They’re expecting more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths. But he does say the US could experience what the UK did recently, a sudden drop off after a steep rise.

“I do think there’s a chance in September and October the peak will come with the delta variant and hopefully we’ll go back the other way, I’m just concerned in the meantime the unvaccinated are so vulnerable right now it’s going to cause a lot of hospitalizations and deaths that were unnecessary if individuals had been vaccinated,” said Dr. Priest.

Dr. Priest recommends that older people who have other health problems postpone travel right now and that everyone consider the risks for the next month or two.


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