Benjamin Street is among the millions of immunocompromised Americans who were told the COVID-19 vaccines may not work fully for them.
“The frustration is still there, but I will also say the gratitude is also there,” Street said.
Still, as a kidney transplant recipient, Street got vaccinated.
“I’m a little protected, but, I mean, I’m not going to the nightclubs or anything like that,” he said.
Street is hopeful a third dose of the vaccine will not only give him an extra layer of protection, but also a greater sense of security.
Friday, the CDC approved a third dose of the vaccine for immunocompromised individuals. The additional dose authorization includes Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Those who qualify for it must get the same vaccine and dosage as the first two shots.
While it's a sign of relief for many, Dr. Edward Cahcay, an infectious disease professor at UC San Diego, warns it's not clear how much protection a third dose will offer someone who is immunocompromised.
“It will boost his immune system and will allow him to engage in more activities, but it is not a passport for getting rid of social distancing and masks,” said Dr. Cachay.
Dr. Cachay believes the best chance Street and others have to be protected is for everyone to get vaccinated.
“You wouldn't be able to tell I’ve had a kidney transplant and that I’m on these drugs that reduce my immune system, but, you know, we’re out here,” said Street. “Getting the vaccine obviously helps you but it also helps people like myself.”
Eager for some sense of normalcy, Street is pleading for the community do its part.