The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) announced Sept. 28 that county residents will be able to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine if eligible.
Individuals over 65 and residents of long-term care facilities who received the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can receive a booster shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Sept. 24. The CDC also advised that individuals 50–64 with underlying medical conditions can receive a booster as long as at least six months have passed since their first Pfizer shot. Individuals who are 18–49 with underlying medical conditions can also receive a booster shot. Additionally, individuals who are 18–64 and are at an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their occupational setting can also receive the Pfizer booster shot. All booster shots should be received after at least six months from the second vaccine dose.
The TCHD said people with occupational risk include healthcare workers and first responders, school and daycare staff, grocery store and public transit workers, and people who work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director, said in the announcement that people who fall into one of these categories should receive their booster dose as soon as they can. He also said the booster doses are effective at increasing immune responses in people who are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
Kruppa reminded Tompkins County residents to receive their flu shot as well because flu season is coming up. Ithaca College is also encouraging students to receive their flu vaccine.
“There is no required interval of time between receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine, such as the flu shot,” he said. “If you have not received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not too late. Vaccines are available, safe and effective.”
There is currently not a booster shot for the two-dose Moderna vaccine or single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.