If you have questions about COVID-19 booster shots, you’re not alone.
With the ongoing pandemic, encouraging all to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, and reports about hospital patients, transmission rates, and case number, you may feel inundated with information. Andrea Howell, Pharmacist at Pullman Regional Hospital, answers your most pressing questions about the COVID-19 booster shot.
Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot?
As of September 7, the CDC recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised people should receive an additional dose (booster shot) of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people who have:
-Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
-Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
-Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
-Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
-Advanced or untreated HIV infection
-Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
If you’re unsure about whether you qualify, Howell suggests having a conversation with your doctor: “People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.” It’s important to note this is currently as of September 2021, and you can check back in with us for updated information, as it becomes available.
Are booster shots available for each shot type?
Booster shots are currently only for individuals who received the Moderna or Pfizer initial shots. Howell notes that there is “no indication at this time for a second Johnson & Johnson dose.” CDC guidelines state that individuals should get the same vaccine for the 3rd dose as they received for the original series (i.e. if you got 2 Moderna shots, you would also get Moderna for your 3rd dose).
Do I need my vaccine card to get a booster shot?
Howell says, “ideally, yes. This is how your provider can confirm which vaccine you should receive.”
If you lost your vaccination record card, log in to MyIR (“My Immunization Registry”) to look up your COVID-19 vaccination record, and then take a screenshot or photo of the information. If you do not have an account, you can sign up for MyIR any time.
If I’m eligible, where can I get a booster shot?
Reach out to your primary care provider’s office or your local pharmacy to schedule a COVID-19 booster shot. Remember to indicate to them which vaccine you initially received, so you can confirm they have booster shots available.
The Pullman Regional Hospital Travel Clinic is also offering booster shots on a limited basis. Please call (509) 336-7354 for more information about availability.
Does the booster shot have the same side effects as the initial shot(s)?
Yes. Common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines include pain and redness at the injection site, muscle pain, chills, fever, tiredness, headache, and nausea. It’s important to point out that not all individuals will experience side effects and those who do typically only experience them for a few days at most.
If you have additional questions about your eligibility to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, contact your primary care provider. They can assess your qualification based on your health history, as well as provide you more information on where you can schedule your shot.
Thank you for taking a proactive approach to your health and helping to ensure our community is doing all we can to combat this ongoing pandemic.