SRHD Supports Recommendation of Pfizer Booster Doses for Some
Kelli Hawkins | firstname.lastname@example.org | 509.324.1539, c 509.994.8968
Spokane, Wash. – Governor Jay Inslee announced last week the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup reviewed the federal process and has recommended a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months after their primary vaccination series for people older than 65 and people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) supports their recommendation and will begin offering boosters in SRHD clinics once they receive final guidance from the Washington State Department of Health.
The Workgroup recommended the following groups of people who received the Pfizer vaccine should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after six months:
- People 65 and older,
- People living in a long-term care facility, and
- People 50-64 with underlying medical conditions.
In addition, the Workgroup recommended that the following groups of people ages 18-64 who received the Pfizer vaccine may also receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after six months:
- People with underlying medical conditions, and
- People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational or institutional setting.
Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane County Interim Health Officer with SRHD, explained that providers enrolled to administer COVID-19 vaccines may also be awaiting final guidance, so it is prudent to reach out to your provider or pharmacy before visiting in person.
“Administering a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine will help us ensure that those members of our community at the highest risk continue to be protected against severe disease and hospitalization caused by COVID-19 and its variants,” said Velázquez. “The vaccines continue to be effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, including against the Delta variant. We continue to see highly effective protection against hospitalizations and severe outcomes for people who are fully vaccinated.”
Velázquez also explained at this time, only the Pfizer (or Comirnaty) vaccine booster has been authorized. Boosters have not been authorized for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and you cannot receive a booster of Pfizer if your initial vaccine doses were of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Vaccines should not be mixed.
As just one of many providers administering the vaccine in Spokane County, SRHD has worked with many partner organizations to administer over 35,121 COVID-19 vaccines. SRHD has focused their efforts on vaccinating those populations who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, communities with lower vaccination rates, long-term care facilities, and congregate settings.
Those who are eligible for the vaccine or the booster are encouraged to use DOH’s VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov website or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press # to be directed to vaccine providers in Spokane County. Language assistance is available.
Health care providers are asked to enroll in vaccine administration by completing the COVID-19 Provider Inquiry Form on the DOH COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment webpage (under COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment).