Honolulu resident receives 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot as part of Pfizer study

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A study for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine is underway in Hawaii.

One volunteer of the two-year study said he is getting the booster shot for the safety of his family and those around him.

Gary Lahens of Honolulu proudly wore a bandage over his shoulder for the third time. He is participating in Pfizer’s booster shot study and says he has always had a desire to help his community.

“I want to help people, that’s why I was a cop before. So it stays with you as part of your blood,” Lahens told NewsNation affiliate KHON2. “I feel if it works, it helps us open Hawaii, it helps a lot of people.”

He was among the first to get the two shots as part of the vaccine trials in September 2020. He continues to participate six months later.

“I did the study in the beginning because of my mom and my aunties they are all in their eighties,” Lahens said. “I think it was a good thing for me to do.”

Lahens was tested for COVID-19 as part of his third shot and samples of his blood will also be evaluated.

Pfizer says the study will assess the safety and immunity affects the shot may have against emerging variants.

Dr. Warren Sparks, who has been part of Kauai’s vaccination efforts, said he is curious to examine the findings from the latest studies.

“It’s been predicted that we might have a dramatic boost in antibodies after the third shot and we’re waiting to see on the many hundred fold level,” Dr. Sparks said. “And that might be a good thing, it might reduce the breakthrough cases to a true zero.”   

Lahens will be monitored for side effects for a couple of months.

He said he only got a mild fever when he got his second dose. Lahens does not know if he got the higher or lesser dose of the booster shot at this point of the study.

Lahens said, “I am going to be waiting to see what occurs later tonight, you report it on an app, we report if you have any symptoms, fever, so forth.”

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration for those who are 16 years old and above.

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