Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot may soon be available to all medically eligible Mississippians. Regulatory bodies are set to meet this week to potentially approve the booster expansion. State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, along with other leadership, has consistently urged all eligible Mississippians to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. Photo courtesy State of Mississippi
All medically eligible adults in Mississippi may soon be eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot, if relevant regulatory bodies proceed as anticipated this week.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to meet this week to clear additional millions of Americans to take Pfizer’s booster dose. Pfizer said it hopes to make more booster doses available “as expeditiously as possible.”
If the FDA vote succeeds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may authorize boosters for all adults 18 and older as soon as Friday.
Currently, only certain groups of Mississippians are eligible for the booster shot. The eligibility list includes those ages 65 and older who received Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines, those with certain underlying conditions and those who may work in conditions leading to exposure to COVID-19.
In a Nov. 12 press briefing with the Mississippi State Medical Association, State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs cautioned Mississippians to stay vigilant against the virus.
“Even though we're in a reasonably acceptable point in the COVID pandemic, the COVID pandemic is not over,” Dobbs said. “We're still having ongoing tragedy, and the vast majority of these deaths are in unvaccinated folks, same thing with our hospitalizations.”
Since that press briefing, at least 28 additional Mississippians lost their lives to the virus, while the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 442 new cases yesterday.
While the case numbers have steadied, Dobbs warned that the length of the pandemic has strained healthcare workers.
“Just imagine you're a college football team and you're losing and you're getting beat up, and the team that you were at the first quarter is not the same team you are in the fourth quarter,” Dobbs said. “And so the COVID A-team is coming back in the fourth quarter, and our healthcare system is in their fourth quarter defense, and they are pummeled.”
“They don't have as many players to play, they're tired, they're fatigued, and we're not as able to respond to the same sort of threats that we were able to respond to over the summer and then last winter,” Dobbs added.
Dobbs urged all Mississippians to stay safe during the holidays, and to get their vaccinations.
“Keep yourself and your family healthy over the holidays,” Dobbs said. The state health officer requested that everyone get vaccinated and receive their booster shot if eligible. “We all want to see our family, we all want to get together,” he said. “Let’s do it as safely as possible.”
Email Reporting Fellow Julian Mills at [email protected].