FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Those who qualify will now be able to get their COVID-19 booster shots, and local sites are getting ready to offer them.
On Friday morning, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gave the green light for booster shots and overruled the agency advisory panel to now also allow frontline workers at high risk of exposure to get a third shot.
Pfizer is the only vaccine that is authorized for the booster shot.
For those who should or may receive a booster shot at least six months after the second dose, the CDC recommends:
- People 65+ and residents in long term care settings
- People 18+ with underlying medical conditions
- People 18+ who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings
The Western States Scientific and Safety Review Workgroup signed off on the third dose Friday afternoon.
Friday’s news comes as Central Valley hospitals continue to care for high volumes of patients with COVID-19.
“The hospitals are operating anywhere from 110% to 130% of their normal capacity. The ICUs are in the same range,” Fresno County Emergency Medical Services Director Dan Lynch said.
On the state site MyTurn, it asks a series of questions to confirm eligibility and allow those who qualify to make an appointment for their third shot.
Sierra Pacific Orthopedics toward the beginning of the vaccine rollout was administering shots for several months. Now, they’re preparing to reopen the lines on Tuesday.
“There will be a small line. You’ll be pushed through, you’ll have 10 minutes of waiting in the observation period, and it will go as seamless as it did before,” said Rick Lembo, director of sports medicine at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics.
UCSF Fresno says at their site on Shaw Avenue in front of the Fashion Fair Mall, they’ll be offering booster shots for those who are eligible as early as Saturday.
And some local CVS pharmacies already started offering them Friday.
For booster shots for Moderna and the J&J vaccine, the CDC said they will evaluate available data in the coming weeks and make recommendations with the same sense of urgency.
“The best science if that’s what you’re looking at is to just stay with the vaccine you got originally because we know that those clinical trials have been done,” Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said.