Health Department answering common questions as it expands COVID-19 booster availability

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Monday, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department added Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to its list of COVID-19 boosters eligible residents can receive.

However, there have been many questions surrounding mixing and matching types of vaccines as well as eligibility.

Early Monday morning, there were signs of hope at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Those who had eagerly been waiting to get their Moderna or J&J booster shot are finally getting that chance.

“We have a pretty good response this morning from those who are wanting to get that booster,” said Blaine Bolding, Chief of Public Health Protection at OCCHD. 

But Bolding says it’s a day that comes with a bit of uncertainty.

“I think people just want to know if they’re eligible or not, it’s confusing, that’s the main thing, the who all is eligible,” he said. 

Johnson & Johnson boosters are available for anyone over 18 and two months out from their first J&J shot. 

To be eligible for a Pfizer or Moderna booster, you must have received your second vaccine at least six months ago.

Those eligible for the booster for those two shots include:

  • Those 65 and older
  • Those 18 and older who live in long-term care settings
  • Those 18 and older with pre-existing medical conditions
  • Those 18 and older who live or work in high-risk settings.

Officials understand many of those things can be hard to prove.

“We’re not going to make anyone show proof of their work setting or their underlying medical conditions,” Bolding said. 

Another important thing to point out is if you’ve lost track of your vaccine card, don’t worry, you can still come in and they will help you out with that, too. 

“We can go into OSIS (Oklahoma State Immunization Information System), which is a state database that has that record and we can produce that for them,” said Bolding. 

Mixing and matching has been a hot topic, too.

Bolding says that option is available to those who are six months out from Moderna or Pfizer. They can receive a third dose of either of those vaccines but they cannot receive a J&J shot. 

Whether you choose to mix and match or choose the same label, he says both can protect you – and help stop the spread.

“We don’t want to have a surge and we’re entering the cold & flu season, so you’ll be battling several different viruses, potentially,” said Bolding. “So it’s important to get this booster and also the flu vaccine.”

If your first shot was J&J, according to the FDA, you can get a Pfizer or Moderna shot two months later instead of a second J&J if you choose.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available weekdays at OCCHD’s three public health clinics:

Northeast Health Clinic
Monday-Friday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
2700 NE 63rd Street
(405) 419-4200

South Health Clinic
Monday-Friday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
6728 S Hudson Ave,
(405) 419-4119

West Health Clinic
Monday-Friday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
4330 NW 10th Street
(405) 419-4150

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