Booster shots will be available Saturday at a mass COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinic in Ketchikan. That’s according to the state health department’s regional public health nurse manager, Sarah Hargrave.
“Both Moderna and Pfizer will be available at the clinic. (Johnson & Johnson), the Janssen vaccine, is not one that will be available this time,” she said by phone Friday.
The federal health authorities authorized booster doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine this week. Final approval came late Thursday from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
So who’s eligible?
Anyone who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is recommended to get a booster dose at least two months after their initial shot.
For folks who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 shots more than six months ago, here’s the rundown:
- Anyone 65 or older
- Anyone 18 and up with underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes or obesity
- Anyone 18 and up whose job puts them at high risk of COVID-19 — teachers, first responders, jailers, bus drivers, and so on.
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities are also eligible.
Hargrave says anyone who meets those conditions can fill out a form at the vaccine clinic to verify their eligibility.
“Yep, you just fill out an attestation, and we don’t require a doctor’s note or specific permission,” she said.
Though mixing and matching vaccine brands is allowed under the FDA and CDC authorization, Hargrave says it’s best to stick with the type you originally received.
“It’s still preferable that you take the same vaccine that you’ve had before,” she said. “But if the patient wants something different, then that would be available.”
About 3% of the overall population has moderate or severe immune deficiencies, making them eligible for third doses four weeks after their second dose.
Hargrave says specific questions can be directed to the state’s help line, 907-646-3322, between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. The help line closes at 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
This Saturday’s vaccination clinic runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ted Ferry Civic Center in Ketchikan. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available, both free of charge. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. To book an appointment, visit myhealth.alaska.gov.
Booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are also available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies.