NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Starting Friday, Metro Nashville Public Health began offering Pfizer booster vaccines to those who qualify. Tanya Gray was one of the first to take advantage of the opportunity.
"I’m very concerned. I don’t want to be paranoid about going out and around other people because of my health and I think this is the best way to go for me," said Gray.
So she's been following developments closely, and as soon as she saw she was eligible for a Pfizer booster shot, they hopped in the car. "We were just surprised nobody was here yet," she said.
Gray qualifies because of her age, but people below the age of 65 can qualify in other ways. "If you have a series of underlying illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and the like. You’re also eligible," explained Dr. William Schaffner, a global infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
Health care workers and those in congregate living, like a nursing home or prison, can also get their boosters. But only if their first shots were from Pfizer/Bio-tech. "Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, they’re coming down the road. It’ll take a little patience before those folks are eligible," said Schaffner.
That leaves Roy Young on the outside looking in. He received the J&J but as soon as it's approved, he says he'll be back. "A booster shot is no problem," said Young.
Dr. Schaffner says boosters are a new, important tool to make sure vaccinated patients keep up their higher level of immunity. "Some of that protection is likely to wane, it’s likely to diminish, it won’t be as powerful. And by getting a booster, you really boost, you push up your antibodies terrifically," he said.
If you haven't started your vaccination process, Gray would like to boost your interest in doing that too. "They need to do their own homework, they need to really pay attention, talk to their primary doctor, if they don’t have one, find one," she said.
CVS Pharmacy has also announced they'll start offering Pfizer booster shoots to those who are eligible, at select stores.