COVID-19 booster shot eligibility has expanded

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Local pharmacies say they’ve seen a flood of interest since the CDC expanded the eligibility of COVID-19 booster shots.

Up until Thursday afternoon, the Pfizer vaccine was the only booster available. Now Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have also been approved.

Southeastern Public Health Assistant District administrator, Kyle Odom says The Houston County Health Department has been overwhelmed with questions.

“Since the CDC approved it, today we have received a lot of phone calls from people are interested in the booster dose,” Odom said. “You know wanting us help us explain so that they understand which dose they are eligible for.”

If you initially got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a booster shot is recommended if you’re 65 or older, 18 or older at high risk, or 18 and older working in a high risk-setting.

Anyone who initially got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can receive a booster. And Those boosters can be from a different vaccine series.

“What they’ve done is they’ve allowed us to mix and match the vaccine the booster dose,” Odom said. “So no matter what you received initially you can receive whatever you’d like to now.”

The Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer boosters are the same strength as the original shot, but the approved Moderna booster is only half the strength as the original shot.

Some local pharmacies and the Houston County Health Department do have that half-strength in stock, but others drug stores were still waiting for more guidance on the Moderna booster.

I’m advising everybody that I know, that I come in contact with, go get it,” Booster Shot recipient, Jeanett Colvin said. “You will save your life and you will save somebody else’s.”

If you initially received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series it is recommended that you wait 6 months before receiving the booster, but if you received the Johnson and Johnson you only have to wait 2 months.

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