Woman with cancer says she no longer has COVID-19 vaccine antibodies, seeks 3rd dose

While mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates are being debated, there are some in New Jersey who are focused on another issue – will a third shot of the vaccine become available?

News 12 Staff

Aug 4, 2021, 2:13 AM

Updated 991 days ago

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While mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates are being debated, there are some in New Jersey who are focused on another issue – will a third shot of the vaccine become available?
Keri Cronin is in the fight of her life after developing lymphoma at the age of 25. She is beating the illness, but needs to be careful on the occasions that she does go out in public – something she says people should consider while they complain about wearing a mask.
“Someone actually gave my boyfriend a hard time for choosing a mask at a restaurant,” she says.
Cronin received the COVID-19 vaccine over the winter. But then her cancer diagnosis came in the spring. After undergoing chemotherapy, Cronin says a recent test showed that she no longer has COVID-19 antibodies. She wants a third dose of the vaccine so that she can go out in public once again. She says that other countries are giving out third doses.
“Because right now I’m dependent on other people for doing that, even picking up the medications I need. So it’s very frustrating,” Cronin says.
Experts say even without antibodies Cronin could have some protection. But they also admit, when the federal government does approve a third dose, Cronin should be among the first to get it.
“People like Keri should continue to behave as if they are high-risk,” says Dr. Stan Weiss with Rutgers Medical School.
But with many COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, it is becoming increasingly complicated.
For some, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision a few months ago to announce that fully vaccinated people could go maskless has become a big problem with the delta variant looming.
“And they would have to change their guideline once again and that would create an abundance of confusion,” Weiss says.
Those who fear that the vaccine is wearing off are taking matters into their own hands, by crossing state lines for an extra dose.
A third-year medical student, Cronin has helped to fight the virus before. But now she says she is not sure what to do.
“If there are doses available and I’m not taking it from anyone, like, what’s the harm on that,” she asks.
The Murphy administration is waiting on guidance from the CDC if a booster shot of the vaccine is needed. The agency says it is still deciding.
Dr. Weiss says that for people like Cronin, it is best to hold on a little longer for a decision from regulators.


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