Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shots Now Available in Northeast Ohio | Health

Northeast Ohio pharmacies, health departments and health centers are starting to administer Pfizer booster shots to eligible people.

Summit County Public Health offers drive-thru vaccination clinics by appointment only at the Akron Health Department on Wednesdays and Fridays this week through October 15, health officials said on Monday. Pharmacies like Giant Eagle, Discount Drug Mart, and CVS schedule appointments on their websites.

Those who qualify for a recall can also call their primary care doctor’s office to schedule the vaccination, but not all health centers will, said Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda.

“A lot of hospital systems are… busy these days and overwhelmed, so they probably don’t do a lot of outward facing vaccination clinics, so your best bet would be your local pharmacies or local health departments,” said Skoda.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is not holding recall clinics at this time, according to a spokesperson. The Cleveland Clinic, UH and MetroHealth will soon begin administering reminders to caregivers and eligible patients, officials said.

“We are not yet scheduling booster doses for the public. We’re working on the details and the planning technology, ”Cleveland Clinic spokesperson Andrea Pacetti told Ideastream Public Media via email.

How to schedule an appointment

Appointments for the Summit County drive-through clinic or other providers can be made online using the Ohio Department of Health’s scheduling portal or by calling 1-833-427- 5634. Users will be asked several questions about their qualifications, such as their age, underlying health issues, and whether they live in a long-term care facility.

The other option is to contact pharmacies like Giant Eagle, Discount Drug Mart, and CVS directly.

People will also be asked what series of vaccines they have received. Individuals must have previously received the two-shot Pfizer vaccine, as boosters are not yet authorized for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Patients must also be at least six months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer, according to federal guidelines.

At Summit County drive-back clinics, staff will turn people away if they haven’t reached the six-month threshold, Skoda said.

“If you look at the clinical trials… getting it before six months is probably not a good idea because you aren’t getting the protection,” Skoda said. “One of the reasons you wait between vaccines is that you’re giving your body a chance to respond and make antibodies, and you want to make sure you can do that before you start over with another challenge.”

Health officials will also refuse people who have not received the Pfizer vaccine, Skoda added. There isn’t enough clinical evidence to support the vaccine mix, she said.

Moderna and J&J both submitted data regarding the booster shots to the Food and Drug Administration, she said. People who have received these vaccines are still well protected without a booster, Skoda said.

“Moderna seems to be holding on… and the only thing she’s doing really well is keeping you from getting really sick.” And that’s what the three [the vaccines] do, ”she added. “So I tell people to relax. The J&J and Moderna boosters will be there, just as the Pfizer came.

Additionally, people interested in getting the flu shot can receive the flu shot and the Pfizer booster at the same time because the vaccines do not contain live viruses, Skoda said.

The Summit County Department of Health has yet to receive influenza vaccine shipments, but plans to host Pfizer recall clinics and influenza vaccination in the future, she said. added.

Who is eligible for a booster?

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued official recommendations for the recall on Friday, and the ODH released its guidelines for providers over the weekend.

According to the guidelines, anyone 65 years of age and older, residents of long-term care facilities, and people aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions “should” receive the vaccine.

In addition, people aged 18 to 49 with underlying health conditions or who are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their occupation or living in a long-term care facility “may” receive the reminder.

The eligible underlying medical conditions are listed on the CDC’s website and include people with health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity, as well as kidney transplant recipients and people who smoke.

Employees at risk include frontline healthcare workers and teachers, as directed.

Skoda is encouraging people who qualify for the recall but are not sure whether to speak to their primary care doctor, especially those in the younger age groups who are not having a problem. underlying health.

“If you ask me personally, I’d probably say you should get it, just to be done with it, and then you know you’re protected… but again, I come back to the three vaccines that work so well,” Skoda says. “There is nothing wrong with waiting a few weeks or months, if you want to, and then doing it. “

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