Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge answers booster shot questions

Michigan reported 9,137 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 virus related deaths Monday

Millions of Americans are rolling up their sleeves for Pfizer booster shots and boosters continue to be the No. 1 topic of questions that Local 4 viewers have for Dr. Frank McGeorge.

DETROIT – Millions of Americans are preparing to get the Pfizer booster shot.

Boosters continue to be the number one topic pertaining to questions viewers are submitting to Local 4 News.

Here are some questions about boosters including one on the side effects.

One viewer named Robert wrote, “Two of my colleagues got the booster shot and got very ill from it. Will this be normal?”

The data so far indicates that the reaction to the booster is about the same as the reaction to the second shot of the vaccine. Just as different people had various reactions to the vaccine initially, experts expect a range of reactions to the booster as well.

Now here are more questions from viewers.

One viewer named Theresa wrote, “I was vaccinated in April with the last shot on April 22. Do I get the booster on or around October 22 or two weeks later? It was indicated I would be fully immunized two weeks after the second shot.”

You should get the booster at least six months after the date your last shot was given so in this case you would count your six months from April 22.

Eddie, a senior citizen asked, “Where and when can I get the third dose of the vaccine?”

You can go to any local health department or many local pharmacy chains. Some places do require an appointment, so it’s best to call ahead or check their website first.

Another viewer wrote, “I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. I received my second Pfizer shot this past April. Should I get the booster shot?”

COPD can make you more likely to develop severe COVID-19 and a medical condition that would qualify you for a booster, so yes, you should.

The CDC list of medical conditions that a booster is specifically recommended for include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, dementia, diabetes, down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV, immune compromise, liver disease, overweight and obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, transplant patient, stroke and substance use disorders.

Another viewer asked, “will we need boosters every 6 to 8 months? I hope not.”

Unfortunately, we just don’t know the answer to that yet. Researchers are tracking participants from the original trials and looking at data from the US and other countries to see how long our protection lasts. While we need flu shots every year there are other vaccines that don’t require boosters. Only time will tell with the COVID vaccine.

Finally a viewer asked, “When will boosters be authorized for Moderna and J&J?”

The FDA’s advisory panel is meeting on October 14-15 to consider boosters for those vaccines.

If the FDA and CDC both agree they are needed they could be available later this month.

Michigan reported 9,137 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 3,045.7 cases over the past three days.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,064,557, including 21,349 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,055,420 cases and 21,313 deaths, as of Friday.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know Oct. 11, 2021

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.