PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — In February 2021, the DJ known for keeping fans moving and grooving on the dance floor took his first steps after a double lung transplant at UVA Hospital.
His original pair of lungs were destroyed by the coronavirus in an infection that started before a mysterious virus was declared the source of a pandemic.
Dave Champion takes more than 30 pills a day just to stay alive but he is back behind the turntable and mic. Champion is using personal appearances and his social media platforms to call on others to get the life-saving coronavirus vaccine. The parents of a friend are hospitalized with COVID-19 and Champion says their prognosis is poor.
“Please get this vaccination. If you call the hospitals and emergency rooms, they will tell you how many people come to their hospitals with the COVID virus that didn’t get the vaccination,” said Champion, who returned to Hampton Roads after several months of rehabilitation in Charlottesville near the hospital.
Riverside Health’s chief pharmacist is preparing to administer third doses to patients like Champion, who have compromised immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last week recommended the third shot for immunocompromised patients.
Cynthia Williams, vice president and chief pharmacy officer at Riverside Health System, says it’s not unusual for those with weakened immune systems to produce a less-than-robust response to certain vaccines.
“It’s not being called a ‘booster’ but an additional dose of the mRNA — that is the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — for those who are moderate or severely immunocompromised,” said Williams.
Williams says health officials will use the existing rollout template of first vaccinating front-line medical workers, senior citizens in long-term care, the elderly, those with health conditions, and then others if the CDC clears the way for more shots for those who have received two Pfizer or Moderna doses.
“We do believe that that recommendation is coming. That was discussed over the weekend with Dr. [Anthony] Fauci. We believe that we will get direction on boosters [for the general population] probably by the end of September,” said Williams.
Willams says Johnson & Johnson has yet to issue an advisory on a possible second dose of what has been called the “one-and-done” vaccination.
Champion hopes to get his first vaccine dose later this week. He hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet.
“On the 19th, my doctors are going to discuss getting the vaccine and I cannot wait,” said Champion.
On Saturday, Champion is co-hosting a community-based vaccination clinic at Perfect Styles Beauty and Barber salon at 307 Oyster Point Road in Newport News.