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Lawrence Memorial Hospital awaiting FDA approval to give COVID-19 booster shots

Plus, an update on COVID-19 inpatients by vaccination status

Lawrence health officials are ready and waiting for the FDA to give the word about COVID-19 booster doses, according to a community update from LMH Health on Monday.

Initially, the FDA had indicated that beginning this week, boosters would be available for all fully vaccinated patients who had received the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to the update from Rebecca Smith, vice president of strategic communications for LMH Health.

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However, “FDA staff are carefully reviewing the available data to make the best informed recommendation for populations that may benefit from a booster,” she wrote.

But in the meantime, LMH and Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health are preparing to implement recommendations as soon as they’re made, Smith wrote. “Distribution plans will ensure an efficient and effective process, and we’ll share more details as soon as they’re available.”

Community healthcare providers, including primary care offices and local pharmacies, will have access to ample quantities of the vaccines.

LMH Health will share more information when it’s available, but there’s no need to contact your provider at this time, she wrote.


The hospital also shared some other updates. Another COVID inpatient died Sunday, Smith wrote.

LMH has 17 total COVID inpatients, 15 active and two recovering. Of the 15, three are in the intensive care unit/critical care, two are on ventilators and three are on Bipap, CPAP or vapotherm, according to the update. The patients’ average age is just under 67.

LMH Health COVID-19 inpatients by vaccination status, updated Sept. 20, 2021

Smith provided an update on 133 total COVID-19 patients by vaccination status since June 15: The hospital has seen 102 unvaccinated/unknown patients, 23 fully vaccinated and 8 partially vaccinated. Click here for the Times’ full COVID-19 stat dashboard, which includes a larger and interactive version of the pie chart above.

“It’s important to note that our inpatient statistics include all COVID-positive patients, regardless of the reason for hospitalization,” Smith said.

The hospital is limited in what data it can share surrounding patient deaths and reasons for hospitalization, but generally its statistics line up with what the CDC is seeing at the national level: vaccinated individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 at a much lower cumulative rate than unvaccinated individuals, and less than .0001% of fully vaccinated people have died from a breakthrough COVID case, Smith wrote.

“(I)n short, vaccines work at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death,” she wrote.

Find out where to get your free vaccine at this link. You don’t need insurance.

See the latest COVID-19 stats for Lawrence and Douglas County on The Lawrence Times’ stat dashboard at this link.

Find out where you can get the free COVID-19 vaccine at this link.

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