COVID-19 Q&A: Booster doses now available for some people

Late last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized and recommended booster doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for certain people.

Our No. 1 goal is to have as many Idahoans as possible protected from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, and last week’s authorization of a booster allows more at-risk Americans to receive additional protection. The new recommendation adds to the number of people who may seek a third dose of vaccine; FDA and CDC authorized and recommended a third dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for people with compromised immune systems in August.

Who’s eligible for the Pfizer booster?

  • Adults who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and are 65 years and older, live in a long-term care facility, or are 50-64 with certain medical conditions should receive the booster.
  • Adults younger than 50 with certain medical conditions who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least six month ago may choose to receive a booster.
  • Adults less than 65 years who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago and are at increased risk because of the work they do (such as teachers and frontline workers) or because they live in an institutional setting may choose to receive a booster.

Where can I get my Pfizer booster?

Boosters are available at pharmacies, clinics, and healthcare providers statewide. They are not available to the public at hospitals. Use the Vaccine Finder to find locations, the vaccine brands available, and walk-in or appointment details. Neither proof of eligibility nor a prescription is required, and all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are free of charge.

When will Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters be available?

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are still in the process of applying to the FDA for booster authorization, so people who received those vaccines are not yet eligible for a booster shot.

We don’t yet know when the companies will finalize their applications for booster authorization, but won’t be surprised if it happens in the next month or two. Final authorization and recommendations will also be subject to full vetting by the FDA and CDC.

Where can I find more information?

The CDC’s final recommendations for the Pfizer booster are available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/vacc-specific/covid-19.html

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov. 

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