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Sorting out the confusion behind the COVID-19 booster shot

There are still questions over exactly who should be getting a booster. And it can be confusing knowing when to go and where.

CLEVELAND — Who can get a Pfizer booster shot? Those who had their second dose at least six months ago and are:

  • Over age 65
  • Between 18 and 64 with underlying medical conditions
  • Those over 18 who have jobs with high risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers
  • Those in institutional settings

"If you're between 18 and 65 and you have obesity, diabetes, a heart condition or other chronic medical conditions you're eligible for the vaccine, if you're between 18 and 65 and you're a nurse, a teacher a school bus driver, someone who has a high public contact job, you can get a booster," says Dr. Keith Armitage, an infectious disease expert at UH Cleveland Medical Center.

What is this vaccine called Comirnaty?

"It's the exact same vaccine as Pfizer it's just the company's brand name but it's the same as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine," Dr. Armitage said.

Dr. Armitage says for those who received Moderna, the good news is that it seems to last longer than Pfizer's but those folks need to sit tight and wait for their vaccine booster to be approved.

"I do think the Moderna approval will come relatively shortly, Johnson and Johnson may be a bit later, there's no official recommendation to get a Pfizer booster if you got Johnson and Johnson or Moderna, people are doing it, I don't think there's any harm, but it's not part of any guideline or recommendation," Dr. Armitage said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, eligible booster recipients will be asked to attest they have one of the qualifying conditions, but specific proof will not be required. They advise to allow 2-3 weeks to get your booster dose, but you can start making appointments now at more than 35 hundred providers around the state.

ODH says there is more than enough doses to keep vaccinating the unvaccinated as well as giving those who qualify their booster shot.

Don't forget to take your COVID vaccination card with you to your appointment so it can be updated.

If you lost it, contact the place you received your initial shots or contact your county health department.

Data shows the vaccine, even without a booster, protects people from severe disease and death. So those who are healthy can rest easy that they are still protected.

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