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Booster doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine now available in Idaho

Certain people are now eligible to get the Pfizer booster shot. The FDA and CDC issued their decision this week.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho health officials say the booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 is now available for some people who received both doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced that it supports the FDA authorization and CDC's recommendation to administer booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine to certain people. The FDA and CDC issued their decisions earlier this week.

To be eligible for the single booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, one should have received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and must fall into one of these categories:

  • People ages 65 years and older
  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • People ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions
  • People ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions, based on individual benefit and risk
  • People ages 18-64 at an increased risk of exposure and transmission due to the type of work they do (including teachers and healthcare workers) or because they live or work in an institutional setting

Booster doses are available now at pharmacies, clinics, and healthcare providers in Idaho. They will not be available to the general public at local hospitals.

However, what if you didn’t get a Pfizer vaccine, can you get the Pfizer booster? 

Dr. Jim Souza, the Chief Physician Executive with St. Luke's Health, said likely not but there is a major exception in their system.

“We do allow ‘mixing’ if you will of vaccines specifically meaning Pfizer after Moderna for the immunocompromised, who are in the highest risk group that we have been offering third vaccines to already," he explained.

If you are not in that group but still wanting a Pfizer booster, Dr. Souza has this insight:

“If you are not in the immunocompromised group we are recommending that we see what develops here in the short term relative to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson boosters.”

Why not just give everyone a booster now? Dr. Souza said it’s partially about resource allocation and the realistic impact the booster will create.

“We only want to give an injection of a vaccine when we need to. So, we are just trying to match the regiment with the actual need that creates benefit," he said.

Use the Vaccine Finder to find more information about vaccine locations, the vaccine brands available, and walk-in or scheduling details. Neither proof of eligibility nor a prescription is required, and all doses of the vaccine are free of charge to the person getting the booster dose.

Those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not currently eligible for a booster dose.

Albertsons pharmacies are now offering the additional dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Patients are encouraged to “Walk-In” as appointments are not required for initial COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots. Customers can still make pharmacy appointments through the company’s online scheduler. Appointments can be scheduled over a two-week window.

Boise-area Walgreens pharmacies are now offering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for eligible individuals.

Same-day appointments will be available on a walk-in basis at select Walgreens stores. The COVID-19 boosters will be free and provided to patients six months after they receive their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Patients are encouraged to get their initial COVID-19 vaccination series or booster along with their flu shot during the same visit, saving time and providing protection against both viruses.

Individuals can schedule their COVID-19 booster shot and additional immunizations by visiting Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, calling 1-800-Walgreens or calling their local Walgreens.

While walk-ins are accepted as available, Walgreens recommends scheduling your appointment at a time that is convenient for you.

   

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