Birmingham internist weighs in on FDA’s rejection of Pfizer booster shot

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Here at home, a local internist is weighing in on the FDA advisory committee’s rejection of the Pfizer booster shot and the impact on us in Alabama.

Dr. Amy Illescas practices general internal medicine in Birmingham. She said this could be it for Pfizer’s booster shot if the Delta variant continues to be the dominant strain. Illescas said to keep your eye out on Moderna’s booster shot as that has been proven more effective against the Delta variant.

“I really hope that people don’t take it to mean that boosters are not going to be helpful to certain people,” she said. “If the FDA is saying we don’t want to use a third Pfizer booster, it doesn’t mean that they won’t allow people who are fully vaccinated with Pfizer initially to cross over and get a Moderna booster as their third shot.”

That is still being thoroughly researched. Illescas’ bigger concern is what the price of the Pfizer booster shot could be for those who qualify to get it.

“Now that the FDA has said no, private insurance is very likely to not pay for it and although I know the first and second shots were given to many people at no cost whatsoever, I think a booster is going to be a different issue because I don’t think they’re going to be given for free,” she said.

Illescas said it’s important to keep up to date on news that continues to come out for vaccines and to focus your efforts on getting a flu vaccine. If you haven’t gotten either, you can go and get both now to stay healthy this fall. She directs you to contact your personal physician for any questions you may have especially when it comes to your eligibility for the booster shot.

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