Tens of thousands of Mississippians who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 are now eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to help increase their protection against the virus.
There are three groups of people now eligible to receive a booster shot at least six months after receiving their second dose.
- People aged 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings
- People aged 18-64 years with certain underlying medical conditions
- People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings
In Mississippi, booster shots are now available at all county health departments. Appointments can be made online at https://covidvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the Mississippi Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 877-978-6453.
Boosters for these groups were recommended by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee on Sept. 24.
Regulators have not yet made additional recommendations about booster shots for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Moderna has applied for Food and Drug Administration authorization of booster shots, and the FDA is leaning towards authorizing half-dose booster shots, according to a report from Bloomberg. Johnson & Johnson has not submitted an application for boosters of its single-dose vaccine to the FDA, but has reported studies that show a second dose significantly increases the vaccine’s efficacy.
In August, FDA made a small number of people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and organ transplant recipients, who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines eligible for a third shot. These shots must be received at least four weeks after a second dose, and are not boosters, but instead a necessary component of immunization for these individuals.
READ MORE: Mississippi Today’s Vaccine Guide