State to start offering COVID booster shots

Jefferson Healthcare sets up clinics

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County Public Health and the Department of Emergency Management hospital are scheduling booster shot clinics for those eligible for the additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with signups beginning Tuesday.

The state Department of Health said Friday it will immediately start offering booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to certain people.

The move comes after recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices, and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, officials said in a news release, according to The Associated Press.

The booster shots were approved by amending the emergency use authorization that also includes people from the age of 12 to 15, the FDA said.

At least six months after completing the primary Pfizer vaccine series, people age 65 and older, people 18 and older living in a long-term care setting, and people age 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities, could receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, officials said.

Additionally, people age 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions and people 18 to 64 who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting — and who completed a Pfizer vaccine series at least six months ago — may receive a Pfizer booster dose, officials said.

The FDA panel recommended against offering blanket access to the booster shots.

A list of conditions is available at 2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html

Beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday, eligible people can sign up to receive a booster shot through the Jefferson County Public Health website at 202/Public-Health or by calling 360-344-9791.

The Pfizer booster vaccination clinics will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on three consecutive Saturday in October.

They are:

• Oct. 9, Chimacum School District multi-purpose building, 91 W. Valley Road.

• Oct. 16, Blue Heron Middle School, 3939 San Juan Ave., Port Townsend.

• Oct. 23, Quilcene School, 294715 U.S. Highway 101, Quilcene.

Vaccination cards should be brought to appointments.

Pfizer booster shots also soon will be available through some local pharmacies, according to Jefferson County Emergency Management.

Residents are asked to check with their pharmacists for availability or by calling the emergency management department at 360-344-9791.

Those who register for the booster shots are asked to confirm their eligibility before making an appointment.

Boosters are available only six months or more after a person has received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Boosters for either Moderna or J&J have not yet been approved, according to Jefferson County.

Those who initially received Moderna or J&J are not eligible at this time for a booster dose.

“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,” Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah said, according to the Associated Press.

The Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management, Jefferson County Public Health, and Jefferson Healthcare will work together to provide private clinics for health care workers and others who may receive a booster due to exposure in an occupational or institutional setting.

Employees in these fields may hear about these opportunities soon from their employer, according to the emergency management department.

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