The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for groups at higher risk of contracting COVID, either due to age, occupational exposure, or underlying medical conditions. As of Friday, anyone who meets the new CDC guidelines are able to access this booster dose in locations throughout Santa Barbara County.
The CDC’s announcement follows the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of a booster shot earlier this week.
According to the CDC, those who should receive the booster at least six months after their second Pfizer dose are anyone 65 years and older, people ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions, and residents in long-term care settings.
Other groups that could benefit from the booster are people ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions and people ages 18-64 who are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19, either due to their jobs or personal lives.
The updated guidelines from the CDC “allows for people who are at highest risk for COVID-19 to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot to help increase their protection,” wrote Jackie Ruiz, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
Those who have received a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to receive a booster under this guidance.
“Booster shots will become an important part of our local strategy to protect our most vulnerable community members and end the pandemic. Local pharmacies and health care providers are prepared to offer booster doses in your community,” said Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health director. “We want to encourage those who have yet to receive a first-dose vaccine to know that vaccines are still available to you.”
For information about the COVID-19 vaccine and countywide availability, visit publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/ or call 2-1-1.
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