Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, discusses Pfizer vaccine boosters with WDAM, WJTV
In September, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mirrored one another’s recommendations, backing the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine booster for specific groups. Eligible patients include those 65 years of age and older, patients residing in long-term care facilities, those 18-64 with underlying medical conditions and those who are at increased risk of exposure due to occupational or institutional environments, such as health care workers, teachers, correctional staff and grocery and convenience store workers.
Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, principle investigator for Hattiesburg Clinic MediSync® Clinical Research, explained to reporters why the vaccine booster is advantageous to those certain groups who are at the highest risk of exposure.
“Essentially, it gives you more antibodies, and even if the variants have a little bit of a different spike protein, if you have enough antibodies around, the chances are good that you’re going to recognize those,” Rouhbakhsh explained. “Not to mention that we have a level of what’s called innate immunity with T cells that we can’t really measure in blood very well, and those sorts of immune responses tend to be boosted.”
Additionally, Rouhbakhsh noted that the current recommendations for a third dose of the vaccine does not mean that the first two doses were ineffective. Rouhbakhsh compared the Covid-19 vaccine to certain childhood vaccinations, like polio and HPV vaccines, which also require a series of shots.
“When your children get vaccinated, we have a series of vaccines they need to get to be fully immunized, and this is the same concept. Immunity wanes over time. And we know that the immune responses, even at microdoses tend to act more robustly,” he said.