Raleigh woman gets third COVID-19 shot after OK from doctors

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Triangle cancer patient gets 3rd COVID vaccine shot to up immunity
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The Triangle woman told a pharmacy she was getting her first shot, when she was really getting a third.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Federal officials and representatives from Pfizer continue to review research on whether some immunocompromised patients should get an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to boost antibodies.

Pfizer, along with its European partner BioNTech, has been promoting its own research showing how a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine could provide added protection against the coronavirus and variants.

"Initial data from the study demonstrate that a booster dose given 6 months after the second dose has a consistent tolerability profile while eliciting high neutralization titers against the wild type and the Beta variant, which are 5 to 10 times higher than after two primary doses," the companies write in a statement, while also noting its confidence in protection against the Delta variant. "While protection against severe disease remained high across the full 6 months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of variants are expected. Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial to maintain the highest levels of protection."

Pfizer's research relies on real world data from Israel, which has been among the world's leaders on vaccinations. The Jewish State this week, moreover, became the first to officially offer a third dose to immunocompromised patients.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said the Biden Administration is reviewing the research.

"We are in touch with leaders of these companies regularly. We do look at our own data. We welcome their data, as a part of that assessment, but we'll make -- the CDC and the FDA will make a recommendation based on their own assessment."

The CDC and FDA, meanwhile, continue to stand by its statement from earlier this month, which states in part: "Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary."

As officials debate guidance, however, at least one immunocompromised woman in the Triangle has already moved to get a third dose.

Joy Mach, an organ donor recipient and cancer patient, told ABC11 an antibody test in the spring came back negative, prompting her doctors to agree she needed a booster.

"So there was a double reason why there's a very strong possibility that the vaccine would not work for me," Mach explained. She then went to a pharmacy and unabashedly told them she was there for a first dose, when really it was her third.

"I felt very comfortable doing that because they did not feel I was taking away a vaccine from someone had not been vaccinated number one or two. I had gotten the OK from my nephrologist and chemo doctors to say it was OK to go for a third dose."