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Treasure Coast doctor explains what you need to know about booster COVID-19 vaccine

'I think you should follow the science,' resident says
Posted at 10:22 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 05:59:28-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending booster vaccines against coronavirus for individuals who are moderately or severely immune suppressed.

"It's an increase at almost zero cost and zero risk," said Port St. Lucie resident Paul Smith. "You need to keep up with it. We're going to have to stay ahead of this. It's not one and you're done."

Dr. Mark Pamer, a Port St. Lucie pulmonologist, said the booster will greatly help those who are unable to mount an immune response.

"In the general population, it was great efficacy for the vaccine," said Pamer. "Pfizer shot has 95% reduction in infectivity from COVID, which was fantastic. In the immune suppressed population, those people who can't mount a good immune response, they were found to only have a 4 to 20% antibody response."

Pamer said the booster will get those who are immunocompromised to a near 50% antibody response.

"The data suggests that if you had the two Moderna, you can get the Pfizer as a booster and vice versa," said Dr. Pamer.

He said the CDC is not requiring anyone to show proof that they are immunocompromised when they go to receive the booster shot.

"What happens with a person with normal immunity booster, well we don't really know that yet. At least they'll get better immunity," said Pamer. "We don't have any data to guide us on that."

Still though, his message remains the same, to get the vaccine and to get the booster if you're qualified.

"That's the recommendation from the scientists," said Smith. "I think you should follow the science."