Pfizer booster shots approved for frontline workers; Arkansas schools prepare

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The CDC Director overrules its advisory panel, making Pfizer booster vaccines available for frontline workers.

Last night, KNWA/FOX24 reported that the CDC panel voted for boosters to be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and other adults with underlying health risks. But, they voted against frontline workers at risk because of their job- like teachers and healthcare workers.

Now, as of Friday morning, frontline workers are also in the mix.

For one teacher, Alex Fitzgerald, the booster announcement could not come soon enough.

“The question about whether or not to get vaccinated or to get a booster shot goes beyond just that personal choice,” she said.

She teaches in the Springdale School District, which recently expired its mask mandate.

“Even though I wear a mask at all times, not all the children and adults I work with choose to do that,” Fitzgerald said. “So, if I get that booster that makes it significantly less likely that I can spread it to all of those people that I work with.”

In the Alma School District- also without a mask mandate- plans are already underway to start rolling out the shots.

“Now that we’ve been approved for Pfizer as a booster, we’re going to add that to our flu clinic that we have for staff which will start on October 7th,” said Alma School District Nurse Coordinator, Diane Parker.

Parker said many of the teachers in Alma got the Moderna vaccine, which has yet to be discussed for booster shots.

“We do have a November 5th date if by any wild chance it’s approved, we’re going to come in with a booster clinic.”

Both Parker and Fitzgerald said they are anxious to be able to continue protecting themselves and the people they love most.

“I do believe that people should have autonomy over their healthcare choices, but also right now I think that as a community we continue to have this responsibility to make choices not just for ourselves but for our community,” Fitzgerald said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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