Medscape: Booster shot back-and-forth creates uncertainty, confusion

UC expert says confusion about boosters could make some reluctant to get vaccinated

In the wake of recent announcements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about who is authorized to get a third or 'booster' shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, many people, patients and providers alike, are confused. In an article on the topic, Medscape interviewed Louito Edje, MD, associate dean of graduate medical education at the UC College of Medicine who said that confusion could make some people reluctant to get the vaccine.

Medscape reported that the confusion started, in part, with the August 13 announcement that immunocrompromised Ameriicans were eligible for a booster shot. Next came the initial Biden administration intention to provide most adults in the United States with a third shot starting September 20 — an announcement later rolled back — followed by the FDA and CDC limiting boosters to select groups last month.

"It was only 3% of the population that was going to be getting a third dose, then it was back to everyone being able to get the booster, and then it's back to a select crew," Edje told MedscapeThis kind of mixed messaging is generating more questions than answers.  

Louito Edje, MD, MHPE, FAAFP
Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education Designated Institutional Official, Professor- Educator Medical Education, Family & Community Medicine

Louito Edje, MD, associate dean of graduate medical education at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

"Even though that is following the science, translating the science into policy, it's really fraught with confusion for patients, especially," added Edje.

Edje shared an example. "The folks who have been hesitant to even get the first vaccine appear now a little less likely to want to go ahead and get vaccinated."

These patients point to breakthrough COVID-19 cases of the Delta variant, which "reinforces that they don't need to get vaccinated in the first place," Edje said. "That's unfortunate because it's a complete fallacy."

Edje said she is seeing an increasing interest among patients in getting the booster shot.

"I take care of a fair number of folks...including the elderly and healthcare professionals. They are already asking for the booster."

Interestingly, Edje would like to get a booster herself but is not eligible for the Pfizer third shot. She is a participant in a Moderna vaccine trial and can only receive additional immunization as part of the study.

Read the entire story here.

Lead photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

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