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Massachusetts Vaccine Numbers Show Millions Opting Out Of Third Shot

BOSTON, MA (CBS) – It's not too late to get a booster shot before seeing family for the Christmas holiday, according to one Boston epidemiologist, as Pfizer announces their vaccine is promising against the Omicron variant.

"It was time. I had my last shots, I believe, in March," said Terry Bizzell as he rolled up his sleeve for his Pfizer booster.

It took Bizzell and his wife seconds to get their third dose in Boston's Chinatown.

"I didn't have any hesitancy. It's not only protecting myself, it's protecting everyone else around me," said Delphia Bizzell.

The state's latest vaccination numbers show that millions of Massachusetts residents are either holding off or opting out of an extra dose.

Massachusetts General Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Mark Siedner told WBZ-TV that people shouldn't rely on their first two shots to protect them in the long run.

"It's the first time we've seen data that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine may not be effective really in protecting people," said Dr. Siedner. "Whereas, they show now that the third dose really did boost antibody responses in ways haven't been seen previously."

Pfizer announced Wednesday that a third dose of its vaccine will likely protect people from the Omicron variant.

That's one reason Delphia Bizzell made her appointment to get a booster shot.

"Even though you might be fully vaccinated, you don't know how the other variants will react to what you already have, so it's good to get the boost," said Bizzell.

But what about other variants in the future? How many more booster shots are in our future?

Dr. Siedner said a one-and-done dose is in the works.

"There are many companies now trying to work on basically pan-viral vaccines that really won't matter which variant it is," he said. "They aren't available yet, but there's a number in clinical trials and if those end up being successful – a single shot could take care of all these variants. Again, time will tell."

Before rolling up her sleeve, Bizzell said she doesn't mind if it comes down to reoccurring booster shots.

"Compared to the alternative of laying up in a hospital possibly dying, what's a little two seconds of your time to get a shot? So I don't have any problems about it at all," she said.

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