While many residents remember the joy, or pain, of receiving their COVID-19 vaccination like it was yesterday, a large swath of the local population is already eligible for a booster shot.

The CDC has recommended booster shots for all three FDA-approved vaccines—Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson—and is allowing eligible patients to choose which vaccine they wish to receive as a booster dose.

Boosters are recommended first and foremost for all adults 65 and older, as this age group is at the highest risk of serious health consequences from Covid-19. Boosters are also recommended for anyone age 18 and older who has an underlying medical condition, lives in a long-term care setting, or lives or works in a high-risk setting. Examples of workers in high-risk settings include first responders, healthcare workers, education workers, and food and agriculture workers.

Individuals who received a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster six months after their second dose, while individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible two months after their dose. The Moderna booster is a half dose of the initial shots, while Pfizer’s and J&J’s boosters are the same as the initial doses.

“While we continue prioritizing getting unvaccinated people vaccinated against COVID-19, we encourage everyone who is eligible to enhance their immunity by getting a booster dose,” said Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer. “It is important that those at high risk because of their age, underlying health conditions, or occupational setting, get their booster dose, and we’re encouraging people that fall into these higher-risk categories, to please make sure you are getting your boosters well before the holidays.”

Individuals can make an appointment for a booster dose at VaccinateLACounty.com or by contacting their local pharmacy. Both Rite Aid and CVS are offering online scheduling for booster shots.

“COVID is still around, so our goal is to protect as much of our community as we can,” said Lisa Kalajian, district leader CVS Health. “We want everyone to feel comfortable to go out and go back to normalcy and if that for them means receiving their booster then we absolutely recommend that they come in for that.”

Kalajian said that people should talk to their doctor and consult the CDC guidance to decide which booster shot they would like to receive. CVS is offering Moderna and Pfizer boosters and each location will only offer one type. Patients can determine which pharmacies are delivering which shot when booking an appointment online.

In order to lower barriers to access, proof of eligibility will not be required to receive a booster, however individuals may be asked to sign a form attesting to their eligibility. Individuals should bring a digital or physical proof of their primary vaccination series to their booster appointment.

More information on CDC booster recommendations can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

Clara@smdp.com