COVID-19 booster eligibility expanding

SOUTHERN OREGON, —The CDC announced last week, it’s expanding eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots.

“The way to stop this pandemic is to get as many people protected as possible,” said Dr. Shames with Jackson County Public Health.

More and more Oregonians are becoming eligible for COVID-19 booster shots. The CDC says a specific group of those who received their Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, are eligible for a booster shot, 6 months after their initial series.

This includes people who are 65 and older, those who are in long-term care facilities, those with underlying health conditions, or people who work in a high-risk setting. Now, Jackson County Public Health Director, Dr. Jim Shames says another booster shot is being added to the list.

“Pfizer booster, Moderna booster, and the booster for Johnson and Johnson are available,” said Dr. Shames.

The CDC recommends the booster for everyone 18 and older, who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, two months after their vaccination. It’s also okay-ing the mix and match booster strategy.

“You can get a Moderna vaccine if you had Pfizer initially and in the case of Johnson and Johnson, you can get a Pfizer or Moderna,” said Dr. Shames.

Dr. Shames says the public has multiple choices on where to get their booster. These range from pharmacies, clinics, urgent care locations, to qualified health centers.

“The public has many options and we’re not expecting it to be problematic to get the vaccine you need,” said Dr. Shames.

Klamath County Public Health recommends contacting the place where you got your first shot, about the booster.

“We want to make sure that everybody has access to vaccines wherever they are,” said Valeree Lane with Klamath County Public Health.

Lane says it’s seeing more people getting its booster shot rather than the first dose of the vaccine. But it doesn’t anticipate any issues with vaccine supply.

“I think that what we’ve learned is we have a pretty good group of professionals around the community and that we can work together to ensure that people are served in the way that they need to,” said Lane.

Lane and Dr. Shames anticipate the next group to be vaccine eligible will be children ages 5 and up.

Josephine County Public Health says it’s switched to a more centralized distribution model. This means shifting the focus from mass vaccination clinics to local providers.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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