Special to Iredell Free News
The Iredell County Health Department is now offering booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 for certain at-risk populations.
Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and offer less protection against emerging variants. Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults aged 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggests that vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms.
Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant.
Data from a clinical trial shows that a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their primary series 6 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
At this time, only certain populations who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to receive a booster. You can get a booster if it has been at least six months since your second Pfizer shot, and one of the following is true:
♦ You are 65 or older; or
♦ You are 18 and older and:
▪ You live or work in a nursing home or other long-term care residential facility.
▪ You have a medical condition that puts you at high risk for severe illness; for example obesity, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
▪ You work in a high-risk profession, meaning you come into contact with a lot of people, and you don’t know their vaccination status; for example, health care workers, first responders, teachers, child care workers, food processing workers, manufacturing workers, corrections workers, US postal service workers, retail and restaurant workers, and public transportation workers.
▪ You live or work in a place where many people live together; for example, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, migrant farm housing, dormitories or other group living settings in colleges or universities.
You are only eligible to receive a booster dose if you received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna is not yet approved for additional doses.
To make an appointment to receive your Pfizer COVID-19 Booster vaccine, please call 704-878-5300 and press 4. Please bring your COVID-19 vaccine card with you to your appointment to verify you have received your second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months prior.
If you have any questions, please call the Iredell County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 704-878-5300 and then press 1.
Iredell County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Information: https://www.co.iredell.nc.us/1455/VaccineInformation
Additional information related to COVID-19 can be found at the following links:
♦ Specifics on the COVID-19 vaccine: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines
♦ NCDHHS-DPH: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/