vaccine

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be given to specific groups at least six months after completion of the primary series.

These groups include:

• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings

• People age 50 – 64 with certain underlying medical conditions

• People age 18 – 64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings. (e.g. health care workers, teachers, child care workers & grocery store workers)

Booster shots will be available at any location where the Pfizer vaccine is available. To find a list of COVID-19 vaccine providers, visit Southeastern Idaho Public Health’s (SIPH) website at www.siphidaho.org or call the COVID hotline at 208.234.5875.

SIPH will hold community booster clinics at their southeast Idaho locations beginning next week. Individuals can schedule an appointment on-line at siphidaho.org or they can call the COVID Hotline at 208.234.5875 beginning Monday, September 27th. The hotline is open Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. – Noon. Patients will need to bring their vaccination card with them to their appointment

“The need for a booster shot doesn’t represent a failure of the existing vaccine. The concept is to prolong protective immunity, particularly if there is evidence that protection is waning after a period of time. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for a longer period of time, said Maggie Mann, SIPH’s District Director. "What matters is whether people continue to be protected against severe disease. The goal of the vaccination program is to prevent hospitalization and death."

The third dose is for the Pfizer vaccine only. Data is still emerging as to whether an additional dose is necessary for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. There is no current recommendation for an extra dose for people who received these vaccines.