Limited Booster Shots Recommended and Available in Wyoming

WDH 9-28-21

Recommendation Applies to Those Who Previously Received Pfizer Doses

Booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are now recommended and available for older residents and other adults at high risk of severe disease or exposure to the virus, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer for certain groups of people.

Those who should get booster doses include:

·         People aged 65 and older

·         Long-term care facility residents

·         Adults aged 50-64 with certain medical conditions that make severe disease more likely

Those who may consider booster doses depending on their personal risk and situation include:

·         Adults aged 18-49 with certain medical conditions that make severe disease more likely

·         Adults aged 18-64 at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to jobs such as healthcare workers or because they live or work in settings such as correctional facilities

“While we continue to emphasize the importance of COVID-19 vaccines for those people who are not yet vaccinated, these booster doses are intended to help provide continued strong protection for those who are most likely to experience severe illness or exposure to the virus,” Harrist said.

The Pfizer booster doses are to be given at least six months after someone received their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Booster doses have not been authorized or recommended for people who received the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be safe and effective against COVID-19, including the variants, and are especially good at protecting against severe illness,” Harrist said. “This Pfizer booster recommendation for more vulnerable people was not unexpected and it will not be surprising to see similar future recommendations for the vaccines produced by other companies.”

“With the arrival of fall, many people may be ready to receive their seasonal flu shots, which we strongly encourage. It is considered safe to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine dose at the same time,” Harrist said.

Harrist noted all COVID-19 vaccine doses continue to be offered at no cost to those who receive them.

Convenient ways to find where to get COVID-19 vaccines, including the newly recommended booster doses, include:

·         Visit Vaccines.gov or vacunas.gov online to search and find vaccine sites.

·         Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX) or 822862 (VACUNA) to find up to three nearby locations that have vaccines available.

·         Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 for phone-based help.

In August, the CDC recommended an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. More important details about the additional-dose recommendation for these specific individuals can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after one dose of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

More details about the new CDC recommendations can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.

More information from WDH about vaccination in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.

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