Some Johnson County residents can now begin receiving a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, after the CDC on Friday gave final authorization for a third shot for select populations.
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment says eligible residents can begin booking booster shot appointments at county-run clinics on Monday, Sept. 27.
Here are some important things you need to know about who is eligible and how to get a booster shot:
Who can get a booster now?
- The CDC recommends some groups of people should get a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
- That includes people 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and individuals 50-64 years of age with underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe complications from COVID-19.
- Booster shots are recommended six months after your second dose.
What about other groups?
- In addition, the CDC says some other groups may get a booster, too.
- That includes those 18 to 49 years old who have underlying medical conditions. (More on that below.)
- Also, workers in high-risk fields, including nurses and teachers, can also get a booster.
- A CDC advisory panel initially recommended that these groups not be included in recommendations for a booster shot, but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky overruled the panel, opening up boosters to millions more Americans.
Where can you get a booster in Johnson County?
- Starting Monday, you can book an appointment to receive a booster at JCDHE’s permanent clinic at 6000 Lamar Avenue in Mission.
- Residents can begin booking booster appointments at JCDHE’s Olathe clinic at 11811, S. Sunset Drive, starting next Monday, Oct. 4.
- Pfizer boosters will also be available at private pharmacies across Johnson County. Go to vaccines.gov to find the nearest provider offering booster shots.
- Locally, Hy-Vee is offering free booster shots, as are Walgreens, CVS and Balls Foods, owner of Hen House and Price Chopper.
- You are also encouraged to reach out to your personal health care provider to ask about booking a booster shot through them.
What if I got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
- At this point, you’re not eligible for a booster.
- The CDC has authorized booster shots for only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- Both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are still undergoing testing to determine if a booster is necessary.
What “underlying health conditions” make me eligible for a booster?
- The CDC offers a full list of conditions.
- That includes cancer, chronic lung disease, COPD, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, a weakened immune system and obesity.
- Also, the CDC recommends you get a booster if you are pregnant.
Who is considered to be a worker in a high-risk field and should consider getting a booster?
- Health care professionals, including doctors and nurses
- First responders, including police and firefighters
- Teachers and day care staff
- Grocery store workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Agricultural and food industry workers
- Public transit workers
- U.S. Postal workers
Are there any side effects of risks to getting a booster?
- The CDC reports similar side effects to the first two shots, fatigue and soreness at the injection site being the most common.
- Rare serious complications are possible, as with any vaccination, the CDC says.
- To date, more than 386 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S., with very few major or long-term side effects reported.
Editor Kyle Palmer contributed to this report.