ERIE (Erie News Now) – On Wednesday, Pfizer- BioNTech announced that reports have been done that found their booster shots provide an extra layer of protection against the omicron variant.
Following this new information, could three shots be the new norm for protection against the omicron variant?
Health experts said it’s a possibility.
Epidemiologist and Erie News Now Contributor, Dr. Becky Dawson explained, “Our system needs multiple vaccines in order to really build immunity and both Pfizer and Moderna are saying the three doses are really important, the two doses and the booster doses especially as we deal with the new variant.”
Dawson said it’s not a surprise that multiple doses are needed, especially since most vaccines require more than one dose, like a tetanus shot you get every ten years.
“Most of our other vaccines other vaccines, even the ones we get in childhood until we start getting ones as adults are more than two doses, some are three doses or four doses”, said Dawson.
Hospital officials said since we first heard about the omicron variant, interest in vaccines has increased.
Director of Pharmacy at AHN Saint Vincent, Stephen Henderson said, “I think there’s a lot of things that have factored into the demand we are seeing certainly omicron, the concern surrounding the unknowns with what the impact that variant will have moving forward.”
Henderson said being fully vaccinated keeps you healthy and out of the hospital, “80 percent, slightly over 80 percent of our hospitalizations are individuals that are not fully vaccinated.”
Both Dawson and Henderson agree that the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get your shots.
“At this point in time, the messaging is really clear, you need to be vaccinated, if you are eligible for a booster, you need to get boosted too”, said Dawson.
If you are still looking for appointments to get your first dose or your booster shot, you can text 438-829 with your zip code to find places near by who have open availability.
If you want to get a shot through AHN you can do it through AHN.org, Mychart, or 814-CONNECT.