DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Reports of breakthrough infections amid a COVID-19 surge have some fully-vaccinated people, eying a booster shot.
It has yet to be authorized, but that’s not stopping everyone.READ MORE: Large Sea Turtle Takes To The Skies For Trip From Florida To Texas Conservatory
Depending on the vaccine, the FDA’s emergency use authorizations (EUA’s) allow for one dose or two, but some people have confessed they’ve bucked the rules and shown up at a vaccine provider to collect a third.
Dr. Mark Casanova, President of the Dallas County Medical Society, says the booster isn’t being recommended because there’s not clear evidence that’s it’s necessary.
Dr. Casanova is also a volunteer in Pfizer’s booster trial.
“I got the booster or the placebo,” he said.
The trial is helping collect data to determine who could benefit from a third shot.
“Will it be the masses? Will it be a subgroup of individuals? And more importantly what’s the timing of the third booster?” said Dr. Casanova.READ MORE: Cleanup Almost Complete In Lake Worth Neighborhood Where Military Jet Crashed
Pfizer and Moderna have both reported a third shot of their vaccines can help maintain their effectiveness over time.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical advisor has signaled it’s likely a booster will be authorized for certain groups of people.
“Mainly people with suppressed immune systems who are transplant patients, cancer chemotherapy, auto immune diseases that are on anti-immune suppressant regimen. Those are the kind of individuals that if there is going to be a third booster which might likely happen would be among the first vulnerable,” said Dr Fauci in an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation.
For healthy people with no underlying conditions, though, doctors say the vaccine is holding strong.
“When we talk about breakthrough infections – in totality the percentage of these are remarkably low and the severity of illness is remarkably low,” said Dr. Casanova.
Texas does have a system called ImmTrac2 that keeps tabs on who’s received a vaccine and when. If it’s working correctly and people have provided accurate information, it should show who’s received three doses. But the Department of State Health Services, which runs the system, told it doesn’t have any enforcement authority for the FDA’s emergency use authorization orders. A spokesperson wrote the department unaware of any penalties for a person caught receiving more than the allowed number of doses, even by deception.MORE NEWS: Cargo Traffic To Resume At Texas Border Crossing Where Migrants Made Camp
Asked if there’s a downside to getting the third shot, Dr. Casanova replied, “No, there’s not a downside, a clinical downside, to the booster at this time.”