Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters

MARION, Ill. (KBSI) – Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses by appointment.

Bi-County offers the third dose of Pfizer and Moderna for the immunocompromised. Guidance from CDC allows people who are at highest risk for COVID-19 to receive a booster shot to help increase their protection.

For the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, a single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended greater than or equal to six months after completion of an mRNA primary series, in the same risk groups for whom CDC recommended a booster of Pfizer-BioNTech, under FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. The Moderna booster dose is a smaller 50 microgram dose.

The CDC recommends the following groups should receive boosters:

  • people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a 50-mcg booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Moderna primary series
  • people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a 50-mcg booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Moderna primary series.

Additionally, the CDC recommends the following groups may be considered for boosters.

  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a 50-mcg booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Moderna primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and 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 50-mcg booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Moderna primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

For Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, a single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons aged 18 years and older, greater than or equal to 2 months after receipt of the initial Janssen dose, under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. Those recommendations are as follows:

  • CDC recommends the following groups should receive boosters: o people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
    • people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.

Additionally, the CDC recommends the following groups may be considered for boosters.

  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
  • 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 of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

In addition to the guidance above regarding booster doses, the CDC says that the use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose in eligible individuals, following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine, is allowable. Allowing mixing and matching could alleviate supply issues, make the task of getting a booster simpler for Americans and allow people who may have had adverse reactions to the initial dose to try a different shot.

The clinical considerations for heterologous mixing are as follows:

  • The same product that was used for the primary regimen should be used for the booster. If that is not available or another product is preferred, heterologous boosting with a single dose of any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccine boosters is acceptable.
  • Heterologous dosing may be considered for the booster dose only.
  • Individual benefit-risk assessment may inform which booster product to use.

Many of the people who are now eligible to receive a booster shot received their initial vaccine early in the vaccination program and will benefit from additional protection. A booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.

To schedule an appointment you may go to the Bi-County web page at bicountyhealth.org or vaccines.gov or call Bi-County at 618-993-8111.

Bi-County COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled appointments are held in the Marion office on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. and the Benton office on Tuesdays and Thursday from 8–11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to use other community partners to make it easy and accessible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, booster and 3rd dose. Appointments at the health department will be limited due to space and staffing.

The Marion Walmart is offering weekend COVID clinics (Saturday & Sunday). Click here to schedule an appointment through Walmart or call 618-997-2021 for more information.

Bi-County Health vaccination clinic forms can be found at bicountyhealth.org.

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