Health officials: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses available immediately in Oklahoma

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FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. An influential panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met on Wednesday, Sept. 22, to decide who should get COVID-19 booster shots and when. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

FILE – In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. An influential panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met on Wednesday, Sept. 22, to decide who should get COVID-19 booster shots and when. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As health officials continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the FDA authorized a single booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for some people.

The FDA authorized and the CDC approved an Emergency Use Authorization for a single booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for certain eligible individuals.

Eligible Oklahomans can begin receiving their booster dose as early as Friday, Sept. 24, said officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

“With the Delta variant circulating in our communities, we encourage Oklahomans who are eligible for a booster dose to take advantage of this additional layer of protection against COVID-19,” said Keith Reed Deputy Commissioner for the State Department of Health. “Evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe illness and widespread transmission of variants. For optimal protection, Oklahomans should receive all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The CDC recommends the following individuals receive a booster shot: 

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot. 
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot. 
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks. 

Booster doses must be administered at least six months after an individual’s primary series of vaccination is complete, in accordance with FDA and CDC guidance. Verification of being high-risk is not required, and a patient may attest to their eligibility at the time of their appointment.

“The booster dose recommendation doesn’t mean that the vaccine doesn’t work, or that it doesn’t work as well as we predicted. It just means that health professionals have determined that a booster dose provides an additional layer of protection,” said Dr. Gitanjali Pai, Chief Medical Officer for the state of Oklahoma. “By layering mitigation methods, including booster doses and other methods like the 3 W’s, we can effectively slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent severe symptoms.”

The EUA currently only applies to the Pfizer vaccine. The CDC and FDA continue to evaluate data to make a recommendation on booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Eligible Oklahomans can find vaccine appointments in their area by visiting a local pharmacy or personal provider, using the state’s Vaccine Scheduler Portal, visiting https://www.vaccines.gov/ or by calling 211.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department announced that all of its public health clinics will offer Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses beginning Monday.

The OCCHD says 180,000 people in Oklahoma County could qualify for a booster dose if they’re interested in one.

Several locations are listed at VaxOKC.com.

If you want a booster dose on Monday at the NE clinic can sign up online. On Tuesdays to Fridays, they can call (405) 419-4200.

Residents needing an appointment at OCCHD’s Southern Oaks Clinic can call (405) 419-4119 or book an appointment for Wednesdays online.

Patients wanting an appointment at the OCCHD’s West clinic should call (405) 419-4150.

Walk-ins are welcome at all clinics, though appointments are preferred. All clinics are on the Embark bus line. Homebound residents needing a booster dose can call the OCCHD hotline at 405-425-4489.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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