Health dept. begins issuing third dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JACKSON, Tenn. — Third doses of the vaccine may be necessary for those at high risk of COVID-19 complications.

“It’s a bad situation right now, and just know that the vaccine does work, you’ll see that updates from West Tennessee Healthcare every day,” said Mallory Cooke, public information officer for the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department. “The majority of people who are hospitalized right now with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. These vaccines save people’s lives.”

Tuesday is the first day the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department is administering third doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to immunocompromised people.

You don’t have to live in Madison County to get a third vaccine, but you must have completed your first two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

“If you got Pfizer for your first two doses, you’re going to need to get Pfizer for your third dose, if you get Moderna for your first two doses, you’re going to need to get Moderna for your third dose as well,” Cooke said.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not received approval for a second dose.

Drew Cahill was the first in line for a third dose Tuesday morning. He says he wants to be sure he’s able to protect himself and others from COVID-19.

“I think that you either get vaccinated, or you’re going to get the virus,” Cahill said. “And so you have your choice, and you take your risk based on your own personal opinion.”

A lot of our viewers had many questions about the third COVID-19 shot, one of them being “If the first two shots couldn’t stop the virus, how could the third?”

Cooke says immunocompromised individuals need a third dose of the vaccine because their immune systems don’t react the same way as others’, and the effectiveness of the vaccine may decrease over time for people with a compromised immune system.

Others are questioning the FDA’s full approval of the vaccines.

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“We’re still awaiting full FDA approval, but they are approved by the FDA for emergencies,” Cooke said. “So whenever you hear people say ‘they’re not approved,’ they are approved for emergency use. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, they are approved for emergencies.”

If you’re eligible for a third dose, you don’t have to show any documents proving your eligibility. Just be sure to bring your ID.

If you have questions, the health department is recommending you talk with your doctor.

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Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News