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Santa Barbara County hospitals weigh in on FDA’s authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine booster dose

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SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County hospitals are weighing in on the FDA’s announcement to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

As soon as the CDC gives approval for the third booster shot, hospitals in the Santa Barbara County including Cottage Health in Santa Barbara and Lompoc Valley Medical Center in Lompoc say they’re "ready to go."

69-year old Carol Morelli of Santa Maria has already received both doses of the Pfizer
COVID-19 vaccine.

"I feel better about it because I can’t afford to get sick," said Morelli.

But soon she may need to get another.

The FDA just gave the green light for a booster shot.

Those eligible include everyone 65 and older, anyone at high risk of severe disease, and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.

"I believe this is really good news ... it’s going to help those that are
most vulnerable to the disease does 65 and older ... they are most likely to
get hospitalized and possibly die from COVID ... so to do something to better
protect the community is good news for everybody," said Dr. Sagar Asodia of JDX Pharmacy.

Doctors at the Lompoc Valley Medical Center are anxiously awaiting the
final approval from the CDC.

"The CDC is meeting as we speak … and they’re voting on this issue … so
we’re quite excited to find out … we should know something here
momentarily," said chief medical officer Dr. Randall Michel of the Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

So far, about 2.3 million Americans have already received third doses of
Pfizer's vaccine, according to the CDC.

"After about six months it does look like people in certain groups may have
less immunity than we wish they would … and again, this is hopefully a way
to improve that immunity as we enter the winter," said chair of infectious diseases Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons of Cottage Health.

Third doses are already approved for certain groups of people, but not for
the general public.

"It’s good news because they’re still working on the problem … haven’t given
up or said now we’ve got a solution so we don’t need to do anything anymore," said Morelli.

As of Thursday, the CDC panel announced its approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for many Americans, but not health workers.

As soon as the cdc gives its approval … both cottage and Lompoc valley medical centers say, they’re ready to go as early as next week.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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