National health officials recommend third dose, local health officials respond

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — U.S. health officials are calling for a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, and with the new recommendation comes questions from those who already got their first two doses, or didn’t get a two-dose vaccine at all.

Nearly 170 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but will the addition of a third dose change the definition of what it means to be fully vaccinated? What about the nearly 14 million Americans who got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson jab?

WDVM’s Randi Bass asked health officials in Montgomery County some of these questions in a Wednesday afternoon press briefing.

“We will continue to use the data we have available with our epidemiology team and surveillance team and the CDC, and if and when the state provides guidance, that’s our current course of action. Regarding the Johnson & Johnson shot, the data has come back as inconclusive. The recommendation is for those individuals to follow up with their primary care physicians,” said deputy health officer Dr. James Bridgers.

Montgomery County health officials say they expect the third dose rollout to be less hectic than what we saw this past spring.

Dr. Bridgers explained they believe the demand will be spread out over several months as individuals become eligible for their third doses, with the greatest demand between October 2021 and January 2022.

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