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LVHN to Participate in Pfizer Study to Determine Need for Third COVID-19 Shot to Boost Immunity

Unvaccinated residents urged to roll up their sleeves for first vaccine doses

Lehigh Valley, Pa. (July 20, 2021) – Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is involved in COVID-19 research as part of Pfizer’s clinical trial to determine the need for a COVID vaccine booster shot.

While LVHN participates in that study to determine if a third shot is necessary, infectious disease experts at the network continue to emphasize the importance of getting shots into the arms of unvaccinated people.

“Each person who is fully vaccinated is one less person who might get sick and end up in the hospital,” said Alex Benjamin, MD, LVHN Chief Infection Control and Prevention Officer. “The emergence of the more contagious delta variant in the U.S., including here in Pennsylvania, is also a concern and another reason to get immunized.”

The number of COVID-19 patients in LVHN hospitals is slowly beginning to rise because of complacency among unvaccinated people. The hospitalized COVID patients in LVHN hospitals are primarily unvaccinated.

In the region served by LVHN, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reports several counties are in the top 10 when measured on the percentage of residents with at least one dose. They include Lehigh, Lackawanna, Northampton and Montgomery counties. Lehigh County ranked third with 67.1% of all residents having at least one shot. Philadelphia is not included in the state figures.

Vaccines are approved for those 12 and older.

Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is easy and supplies are plentiful. To find a vaccine walk-in clinic location or to set up an appointment at a vaccine clinic, visit LVHN.org/vaccines, access your MyLVHN account, or call the LVHN Vaccine Hotline at 833-584-6283 (833-LVHN-CVD).

LVHN will present a COVID-19 Facebook Live session at noon, July 22, 2021, featuring a panel of LVHN doctors. All are invited to tune in and submit questions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health are all involved in research to see if a booster is necessary.

LVHN participated in clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine and is now participating in studying the need for a possible Pfizer vaccine booster. Participation is limited to those who received the COVID-19 vaccine in the first trial.

“Right now, 99 percent of COVID cases are occurring in those that are unvaccinated,” said Joseph Yozviak, DO, LVHN Principal Investigator for the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. “The most important thing you can do right now is make sure you are fully vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

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