FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — The FDA is poised to recommend people with compromised immune systems get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, either a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, explained that people with compromised immune systems may have a weak response to the current vaccine regimen.
Cynthia Sanchez, who lives in Fort Bend County, told KHOU 11 she’s ready to receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I had a liver transplant on Jan. 28, 2020 just before the pandemic,” explained Sanchez of why she has a compromised immune system.
Of the COVID-19 pandemic Sanchez said, “I was pretty nervous.”
The 64-year-old explained how she stayed home throughout 2020. In January 2021, she said her doctor called and told her she qualified to receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. Months later, tests proved even with a double dose, the vaccine wasn’t strong enough to maximize her antibodies against the virus.
“The rejection medication that I have to take,” Sanchez said. “Probably made it to where the vaccine didn't work.”
But to her, it’s better than no vaccine at all. Sanchez said an at-home test showed she was positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.
“I'm not as sick as I would have been,” which is why she wants to get a booster shot. “’I'm going to go, I'm going, I'm getting it," she said.
Dr. Fauci said it’s only a matter of time before the FDA recommends a COVID-19 booster for the immunocompromised Americans.
“We don't feel at this particular point that apart from the immune compromised, we don't feel we need to give booster's right now," he said.
But Fauci was quick to remind Americans that doctors and researchers are studying the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in real time, “literally on a weekly and monthly basis. We're following cohorts of individuals, elderly, younger individuals, people in nursing homes to determine if, in fact, the level of protection is starting to attenuate. And when it does get to a certain level, we will be prepared to give booster's to those people.”
Sanchez is hopeful a booster shot will increase her COVID-19 antibodies.
“I think it will give me more confidence to get out," she said.