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

Coronavirus

FILE - Comirnaty, a new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, is displayed at a pharmac...

Jen Christensen, CNN

The FDA tells COVID-19 vaccine makers to update shot to target newest variant

The US Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had advised the makers of the Covid-19 vaccines to formulate their new shots to be a better match for the JN.1 lineage of the coronavirus.

11 days ago

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

13 days ago

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy a...

Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

Fauci testifies publicly before House panel on COVID origins, controversies

Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing heated questioning from Republican lawmakers about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

15 days ago

A sign reminding Copper Hills High School students and staff to keep their hands clean during the c...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah school districts working to prioritize what stays when COVID relief money runs dry

Utah's school districts are working to figure out how they will continue to pay for programs propped up by COVID-19 relief funds.

1 month ago

FILE: Former Utah Jazz John Stockton reacts during a 76-70 Wichita State win over the Gonzaga Bulld...

Michael Houck

Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton sues Washington medical director about COVID misinformation policy

Former Utah Jazz superstar John Stockton has filed a federal lawsuit against Washington officials on First Amendment violations, arguing the state's policy of COVID-19 misinformation is unconstitutional.

3 months ago

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

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