Ochsner ready to administer COVID-19 booster shots
BATON ROUGE - COVID-19 booster shots are expected to be rolled out to all by the end of September, but at Ochsner Health Center, officials are already on the move.
"We started already giving the booster or the third dose for those immunocompromised. This is going to be added to the schedules we already have of newly vaccinated people, the third shot of the vaccine, and now we're going to promote to those who have already been vaccinated to get the third shot," said Dr. Aldo Russo, Regional Medical Director.
Dr. Aldo Russo says there is no change in the booster shots, it will be the same vaccine from both Pfizer and Moderna, but many say it could be vital.
"We know that there's three components that are causing breakthrough symptoms. One is the natural wane off of the antibody the decrease of antibodies. Second, the lack of social distancing and masks, what we call mitigating measures, like mask-wearing or avoiding confined places. The third one is actually the delta variant which is more infectious and it looks like it's more easily transmitted than the original virus," Dr. Russo said.
In the greater Baton Rouge area, about 454 patients are in the hospital with COVID. 45 are vaccinated.
And many healthcare professionals believe if everyone gets their vaccine, then other booster shots may not be needed in the future.
"If we can get rid of this virus by everyone getting the vaccine, and doing the right thing, we will not need [another booster shot]. Remember, we got rid of Polio, we got rid of other viral infections because of vaccines and my hope is that we can eradicate COVID too," Dr. Russo said.
And Dr. Russo believes 90 percent of vaccinated people will not have to be admitted to the hospital.
Ochsner plans to administer the third dose to everyone as soon as shipments arrive next month.