There have been lots of exciting updates regarding COVID vaccines in the past month. To start, COVID boosters have now been approved for all vaccine types available in the United States. It is also very likely that by the time of publication, there will be an authorized vaccine (Pfizer) available for children ages 5-11. More on the latest developments below. Please reach out to your PCP if you have questions on COVID vaccinations. After reading the below information, if you would like to schedule an appointment at Mountain Family for a vaccine shot or a booster shot, please call (970) 945-2840.
Boosters are now available for many who have been fully vaccinated. Those who received mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) for their initial series are eligible for a booster 6 months after their second dose, provided they meet certain age or risk requirements. The evidence of need for a booster is strongest in people over age 65 and those over 50 with chronic conditions. The CDC recommendation is that these populations should receive a booster, along with anyone 18 or older who lives in long-term care. Additionally, the CDC advises that anyone 18 or older with chronic conditions or who is living or working in a high-risk setting may receive a booster. Those who do not meet these criteria remain well protected by their initial series and does not need a booster at this time.
The recommendations are slightly different for those who received the Johnson & Johnson shot initially. This group is recommended to get a booster 2 months after their first dose. This applies regardless of underlying risk and includes anyone 18 and older. The CDC has also approved “heterologous dosing” or mix and match dosing of booster shots for any of the above situations. For example, if you received Moderna for your first 2 doses it would be fine to receive Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson for your booster dose if you preferred. More information on booster shots is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html
Lastly, it is very important to note that, while boosters are helpful, the most important thing we can do to slow the spread of COVID is to complete the initial vaccination series in those who have not yet received it. This is why the vaccine for children ages 5-11 is so exciting. There are over 25 million kids in the US in this age range so this is a very important step in getting us closer to herd immunity as well as keeping kids in school. This vaccine should be approved in the first week of November for emergency use and will be a 2-dose series with the second shot due 21 days after the first. All vaccines are readily available in the community at this time, and Mountain Family Staff is happy to assist anyone in getting the vaccine type they prefer or answer any questions.