Midland Medical Lodge administering COVID-19 booster without FDA approval

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -So far, the CDC isn’t recommending fully vaccinated people to get a third COVID shot, but one rehabilitation center is moving forward with the boosters anyway.

When we asked Midland Medical Lodge why staff and residents are getting a third COVID shot, its statement was only...

“Some of our residents and staff are receiving the 3rd Pfizer vaccination with physician order and vaccine consent,” said Midland Medical Lodge.

But that doesn’t square with Odessa Regional Medical Center’s understanding of the boosters.

“As of right now, there is no third shot that is approved, and the CDC does not recommend a booster shot,” said Dr. Rohith Saravanan, a regional chief medical officer in Odessa.

Okay, so, does that mean we shouldn’t get a booster?

Well, it’s a bit complicated.

Rohith Saravanan, a regional chief medical officer in Odessa, explained there are actually a couple of reasons why doctors would consider giving a patient a third shot.

For instance, a booster could be helpful if a patient’s antibodies are low or if a new variant pops up that’s stronger than the two doses patients already have in their bodies.

“All of a sudden we realize oh that variant is no longer susceptible,” said Dr. Saravanan.

But we’re not at that point.

Dr. Saravanan explains if medical providers do administer the third round of a COVID-19 vaccine, they’re out of compliance with the Texas Department of Health mandate.

“Our mandate as a provider of the vaccine is to be in compliance with their recommendations,” said Dr. Saravanan. “Right now, their recommendation is not for a third shot, so technically we would be out of compliance if we’d be giving someone a booster shot, a third shot of the vaccine.”

So, that would mean Midland Medical Lodge is out of compliance.

However, Dr. Saravanan said he’s not sure if that means the state will try to stop them or if the doctors would face any consequences for administering the shots.

Midland Health facilities and medical center hospitals say they won’t administer the third shot unless approved by the FDA and CDC.

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