Pfizer COVID vaccine booster available for certain individuals in Washington

Sep 27, 2021, 7:39 AM
Pfizer booster...
In this file photo, a licensed vocational nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a vaccination site in Santa Ana, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are now being given out to certain individuals in Washington, following recommendations from health officials.

Virologist: Despite booster suggestion, COVID vaccines are ‘still working’

The Washington State Department of Health said Friday that these doses would immediately be offered, following recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed its own review of the federal process and provided its confirmation to the governors of Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada on Friday.

According to the recommendations, the following individuals should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, if it’s been at least six months after completing the primary Pfizer vaccine series:

  • People 64 years of age and older
  • People 18 years of age and older living in a long-term care setting
  • People 50-64 years old with underlying medical conditions, or those at increased risk of social inequities

Those who may receive a booster dose include: people who are 18-49 years of age with underlying medical conditions, or people 18-64 who are at higher risk of COVID exposure and transmission due to their occupational or institutional setting. The same timeline applies for this group, that it must be for an individual who completed the primary Pfizer vaccine series at least six months ago.

“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the highly transmissible delta variant,” said Dr. Umair Shah, the state’s secretary of health. “As COVID-19 continues to evolve, booster doses will further protect vaccinated people who are at high-risk and those whose protection has decreased over time.”

Why US health officials are ‘divided’ on need for COVID-19 booster shots

There are not yet recommendations for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. However, certain people who are immunocompromised can receive a third dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer of Moderna) following recommendations issued in August.

Visit the the state’s vaccine locator or call 1-800-525-0127 to find a vaccine location near you.

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Pfizer COVID vaccine booster available for certain individuals in Washington