COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – COVID-19 booster shots are now available for certain groups in Central Ohio. Monday, Columbus Public Health began offering the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Tuesday morning, Ronnie King came to the clinic for his booster.
“I got it as soon as possible, mostly because I want everything to get back to normal here in the United States,” King said.
Now over 65, he’s part of one group eligible for the shot. Over the weekend, the Ohio Department of Health released guidance consistent with the FDA and CDC’s authorization of the Pfizer vaccine.
People recommended to get COVID-19 Booster shot
- People 65 years and older or residents in long-term care settings SHOULD receive a booster shot.
- People ages 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions SHOULD receive a booster shot.
- People ages 18 to 49 with certain underlying medical conditions MAY receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks. The CDC has indicated that this is a determination made by the vaccine recipient, but those eligible are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers if they have any questions.
- People ages 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their job or living in an institutional setting MAY receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks. The CDC has indicated that this is a determination made by the vaccine recipient.
“I’m most concerned about those individuals who are over the age of 65. When we get older, we don’t always mount a strong immune response,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts. “As well as those individuals who have underlying health conditions – those individuals should definitely get the booster shot.”
The Health Commissioner added anyone concerned about the level of protection they have from the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine should consult their physician or vaccine provider about whether they’re a good candidate for a booster.
“This is not saying that the vaccine is not effective. What it’s saying is we want to make sure it’s maximally effective,” Dr. Roberts explained. “In certain populations over a period of time, usually six months after they completed the series, we started to see waning immunity… not zero immunity, but waning immunity.”
In Franklin County, about 52 percent of the eligible population is now fully vaccinated. Dr. Roberts said her goal is to get the rate closer to 70 percent to best protect the community from COVID-19.
“Boosters are available, but we’re still offering the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s equally important, if not more important, that we get people who have no vaccine protection protected as soon as possible,” Dr. Roberts said.
She explained the higher the rate, the less likely the virus will mutate into a more vaccine-resistant strain. With the prevalence of the Delta variant, she said the booster will be especially helpful for vulnerable populations.
“This booster shot will not only provide protection against this highly contagious Delta variant, but also any other variant that might come our way in the future,” she said.
You can find the full list of CPH’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics by clicking on this link.