Who should get a COVID-19 booster shot? Ohio Department of Health offers guidelines

Coronavirus

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Ohio Department of Health released a new guidance on COVID-19 booster shots Saturday.

The guidance was sent to more than 3,500 vaccine providers across the state, including local health departments and clinics.

Upon learning the news, some Ohioans were anxious to get the booster, including Sunny Webb, “I have some immune deficiencies, so I think it’s prevalent that I get the booster shot.”

But others say they plan to wait.

“Some people say you shouldn’t get it, some people say you should, so we haven’t decided whether we will or we won’t,” said Jim Folker.

According to ODH the Pfizer/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is now available to the following populations, “at least 6-months after completion of the primary Pfizer series:”

People 65 years and older or residents in long-term care settings SHOULD receive a booster shot.

People ages 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions SHOULD receive a booster shot.

People ages 18 to 49 with certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks. The CDC has indicated that this is a determination made by the vaccine recipient, but those eligible are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers if they have any questions.

People age 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their job or living in an institutional setting may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks. The CDC has indicated that this is a determination made by the vaccine recipient.

ODH says the guidance is in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA.

Earlier in the week CDC Director Rochelle Walensky sided with the FDA and overruled an advisory panel that had refused to endorse the booster shot.

“The advisory committee had a robust discussion about whether boosters should be available for those at high risk of COVID because of occupational or institutional risk,” said Walensky. “Had I been in the room and on the committee, I would have voted yes. And that is reflected in my resulting decision to allow the use of Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 booster dose.”

Those eligible for the booster should allow 2-3 weeks to get their booster dose and must attest to having one of the qualifying conditions.

However they will not be asked for specific proof.

Ohioans who want to learn more about vaccines should talk to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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