Following an in-depth approval process by the federal government, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be immediately available for certain adults who were fully vaccinated by Pfizer at least six months ago.
“Vaccine providers in Pennsylvania are ready to administer a booster dose of Pfizer to folks who are eligible and already fully vaccinated with Pfizer,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “While COVID-19 cases are increasing across the commonwealth, it is vitally important that individuals understand that the vaccine continues to be highly effective against severe illness from the COVID-19 virus – including the highly transmissive Delta variant. People who are eligible to receive a booster dose of Pfizer will benefit from additional protection.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) approved a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for certain adults at least six months after the completion of their Pfizer primary series. The final recommendation from the CDC includes:
- people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine,
- people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine,
- people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
- people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks.
Individuals aged 18-49 who have any underlying medical condition (as defined by the CDC) or aged 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings may wish to consult their healthcare provider or other trusted healthcare professional on their personal circumstances before scheduling an appointment.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Acting Secretary Beam signed an order to ensure that vaccine providers are prepared to start scheduling COVID-19 booster shots upon CDC authorization.
There will be adequate supply of the vaccine for eligible individuals and Pennsylvania providers are prepared to schedule appointments. As with other healthcare services, patients may need to schedule appointments in advance.
The dosage and medicine of the Pfizer vaccine are the same in the primary doses, the additional doses recommended for people with compromised immune systems, and the booster doses.
“Please await further public health guidance regarding booster doses for individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines for their primary series,” Beam said. “In addition to being ready for boosters, providers continue to administer first and second vaccinations to Pennsylvanians every day. Being fully vaccinated provides the best protection against COVID-19 for you, your loved ones and your neighbors.”
To find a vaccine provider near you, please visit www.vaccines.gov.