Booster for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

A press release from the Tulare County Health and Human Services

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Certain populations are seeing a slight decrease in preventing infection. Booster Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are now recommended to high-risk populations to ensure ongoing protection.

A third Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine is recommended for persons who are:

– Age 65 years or older; or

– Long-term-care residents; or

– Age 50–64 years old with any high-risk medical, social, or living conditions

A third Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine may also be considered for persons who are:

– Age 18–49 with medical conditions

– Age 18–64 with increased risk of exposure due to their work or institutional setting

Examples of high-risk medical conditions include diabetes, pregnancy, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, overweight/obesity, or smoking. Examples of high-risk occupations include essential or frontline workers such as those in agriculture, manufacturing, schools, corrections, food or grocery, health care, and first responders. Those with questions should talk with their health care providers.

Booster vaccines are only given at least 6 months or later after the second vaccine in those previously vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. They can be obtained at any clinic or pharmacy that has Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available. Booster vaccines are not required to be considered fully vaccinated. Booster vaccines have not been authorized for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines at this time.

This new booster recommendation is separate from the recommendation that immunocompromised persons receive a third dose of the vaccine. These persons are still eligible.

Persons who have not received the vaccine are five times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 and more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than persons who did receive the vaccine. Tulare County Public Health encourages anyone who has not been vaccinated to start their vaccination process now. It is important to complete the vaccine series to be protected, even if it has been more than 28 days since the first dose. COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine. Vaccinating more people in our community is the primary way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help reduce the burden on our hospitals. Visit myturn.ca.gov to find a location and make an appointment.

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