COVID-19 booster shots are now widely available for qualifying Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a recommendation that eligible populations receive a booster shot to improve the performance of their initial vaccines.
Individuals over 65 and those under 18 in age who live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions or work or live in a high-risk setting who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine are now eligible for a third shot that will serve as a booster for those who are already fully vaccinated.
Of the nearly 15 million people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, those who are 18 and older who were vaccinated more than two or more months ago now qualify.
Pharmacist Mike Campfield of the Medicine Chest in White Bear Lake has seen a major uptick in immunizations since the CDC approved all three boosters Oct. 19. Prior to the announcement, the Medicine Chest saw a record 49 shots in one day, all either initial COVID vaccines, flu shots or boosters, but now records are topping off in the hundreds: on Tuesday, Oct. 26, there were 133 total immunizations given at the pharmacy.
“So far, we’re at over 130 today,” said Campfield, who reported the numbers early afternoon on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
The local pharmacy has seen its business boom with the onset of vaccine approvals. Campfield says they’ve been able to staff two pharmacists instead of just one during the day to keep up with demand.
“People are amazed with the ease of the walk-in appointments we have, and we’re back to where people are happy to just get the shots,” he noted.
For all three available COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the CDC has also approved mixing and matching shots. If individuals have questions on which vaccine is best for them, they can ask their pharmacist for a recommendation.
Campfield says there has been no shortage of vaccines, so those who want a vaccine and qualify can get their boosters at their own pace and see which vaccine works best for each person.
Campfield notes that all boosters have their strong points, and they all have their merits in maintaining immunity against COVID-19.
Staff Writer Corinne Stremmel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-407-1226.