INDIANAPOLIS — Some Indiana vaccine providers say they’re prepared to administer booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine if it’s authorized later this month by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. remains on track to release them to the general population as soon as September 20.
“We’re really pretty much ready,” said Dr. Paul Calkins, associate chief medical executive for Indiana University Health. “Once we know that we’re going to have to do this, we can tool it up fairly quickly.”
According to Dr. Calkins, IU Health will have enough Pfizer vaccine on hand if booster doses are approved for the general population later this month.
Right now, third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are only available to people with compromised immune systems.
“I can tell you that many, many, many of our immunocompromised patients have gone for that third dose,” Dr. Calkins said. “Lots and lots of very strong interest in it.”
IU Health isn’t planning any mass vaccination clinics this time around since there are now more places offering the vaccine compared to earlier this year, Dr. Calkins said.
“Frankly, we just don’t have the manpower to open things for long hours each day and run thousands of people through them,” Dr. Calkins explained. “Luckily, we’ve got lots more availability of vaccines and multiple other venues.”
Federal health officials have said they expect booster shots will likely be administered eight months after your second dose.
Dr. Calkins urges people to follow the FDA’s guidance once it’s released.
“I would think that if the FDA recommends that you get the booster shot, that you should get it,” Dr. Calkins said. “And I certainly will if I get the news from the FDA that I should get a booster shot.”
Experts say you should stick with the same vaccine brand if you’ve already been vaccinated.
It’s not clear when booster doses of the Moderna vaccine could be available or what the guidance for Johnson & Johnson recipients will be.
A spokesperson for the Indiana State Department of Health said Wednesday that state officials are waiting for more guidance from the federal government but have started preparing for this potential rollout.