Essentia Health Ready To Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
On Thursday, September 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for specific populations and Essentia Health is now ready to administer those booster shots.
According to Essentia Health, they've been preparing for this for weeks as the need for booster shots was something health officials were expecting in some capacity.
The United States Food and Drug Administration now allows specific groups to be given a booster of the Pfizer vaccine as long as it's administered at least six months after completion of the initial series.
The specific groups eligible to receive Pfizer booster include:
- People aged 65 and older and residents of long-term-care facilities.
- People aged 50-64 with underlying medical conditions that make them especially susceptible to severe COVID-19.
- People aged 18-49 with specific medical conditions, based on an assessment of their individual benefits and risks.
- People in the 18-64 age group who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission based on their occupational or institutional settings.
Both Essentia patients and non-patients alike who fall into these additional groups can schedule a vaccine appointment via the Essentia Health MyChart patient portal. You also can call (833) 494-0836 to schedule a vaccine appointment.
Potential side effects from the Pfizer booster shot would mirror those from the first two shots: site pain, redness or swelling; fatigue; headache; muscle pain; chills; fever; and nausea. It’s important to remember that not everyone experiences side effects.
Additionally, Essentia Health pharmacies reminds residents that they continue to offer vaccination opportunities to those 12 and older.
“Getting fully vaccinated and following FDA and CDC guidelines for boosters remains the most effective means for preventing hospitalization for COVID-19,” said Dr. Peter Henry, chief medical officer at Essentia. “Most hospitalizations for COVID-19 are in unvaccinated individuals. Reducing COVID hospitalizations improves our ability to have adequate staffing and resources to care for the many other serious illnesses that existed prior to the pandemic, and that have been magnified by patients delaying care for chronic illness during the early stages of the pandemic.”
While booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines has not yet been authorized, they could be coming later this fall or into winter.
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