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Surge in vaccine demand expected after CDC decision on Pfizer booster shots

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 4:37 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC/AP) - UPDATE: On Thursday, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.

The panel offered the option of a booster for those 18 to 49 who have chronic health problems and want one.

But the advisers refused to go further and open boosters to otherwise healthy front-line health care workers who aren’t at risk of severe illness but want to avoid even a mild infection.

LINK >>> CDC decides on COVID-19 booster shots for older, vulnerable Americans

PREVIOUS STORY: In the last 24 hours, the Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, to include Pfizer’s single dose booster.

The pharmacist WTOC spoke to at Lo Cost, who also operates Village Walk Pharmacy on Skidaway, says they’re expecting a big surge in demand soon.

“I think next week will be really, really busy. I think everybody will be reaching out trying to make sure they get the third dose in a timely fashion,” said Pharmacist Jason Conley.

Jason Conley says his pharmacy group administered tens of thousands of first and second round vaccine doses this year. The customer demand was so big, they actually had to shift vaccine locations from this spot to Village Walk Pharmacy on Skidaway Island to give them more space. Conley expects a similar demand in the coming weeks.

“I think probably for the next two or three weeks we’re going to be pretty busy. Then we also don’t want to forget the immunocompromised people. We’ve been doing those for the last couple weeks, and trying to get those people in and vaccinated also.”

Another group benefitting from booster categories expanding are frontline health care workers. St. Joseph’s/Candler President and CEO Paul Hinchey weighed in on the booster benefit for workers in their hospital system.

“In my opinion, we can’t get enough protection for healthcare workers, frankly. They are at ground zero of this whole 19-month situation that we’ve been in. We we are thrilled,” said Paul Hinchey, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler.

Of course, CDC guidance has to come down before any booster doses are officially given to any of the new categories listed by the FDA.

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