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Palm Beach County doctor offers guidance on updated COVID-19 vaccine

FDA approves new booster for people 6 months and older
Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 11:23 AM, Sep 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-13 11:23:27-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — For parents, navigating sick season can be one of the trickiest times of year.

Whether it's the flu, COVID-19, or the recent increase in RSV, so many families are facing more than just the common cold these days.

After the FDA approved an updated COVID-19 vaccine for people six months and older, some are wondering whether to get it.

"Right now, I think I’m fine," West Palm Beach resident Edans Cesar said. "But at the same time, I think we have to take it because COVID did so much damage before."

Others have already made up their mind.

"I trust in our medical system and our scientific system and I want to keep my baby safe," mother Katie Steffen said.

For parents like Steffen, it’s a question of when.

"I would want to hear what my doctor thought about breastfeeding and how I should time that. The cadence of when I should get the shots," Steffen said.

Dr. Eric Norman, a pediatric intensivist at HCA Florida Palms West Hospital, said the hospital has seen an increase in the number of COVID cases.

Norman recommends getting the booster now to protect yourself later.

"It takes some time to develop the antibodies that provide protection. So I would recommend getting it earlier rather than later," Norman said.

The doctor added it’s also safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

As for the timing and the number of boosters you or your child will need, Norman said it depends on a number of factors.

"Chiefly their age, whether or not they’ve received previous vaccines for COVID, and whether they’ve been recently ill, if they’re symptomatic with COVID," Norman said.

That’s why Norman suggests talking to your doctor to find out when is the right time for you or your family to ge the new booster.