MISSOULA — The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) has begun offering booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible county residents.
MCCHD COVID-19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr said the boosters will be available at the department’s vaccine site at Southgate Mall.
“We’re looking forward to helping county residents, but it’s important to remember there are some limitations to the boosters,” Farr said.
It should be noted that:
- Boosters are for patients aged 65 and older and residents of long-term care facilities, ages 18+.
- They are also authorized for patients aged 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions. • They are also authorized for patients aged 18 to 64 who are at increased risk for COVID 19 exposure because of their occupational setting.
- Boosters are solely for patients who received the Pfizer vaccine. Right now, boosters have not been authorized for the Moderna and Janssen vaccines.
- There must be at least six months between a patient’s second dose and a booster dose.
The booster shots are currently available by appointment only. Residents are being asked to bring their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Appointments are available by calling 258-INFO (4636), option 3, or online here.
“Making appointments will help us ensure we have adequate staffing and supplies,” Farr said. “Our goal is to have each appointment be as safe, comfortable and smooth as possible.”
Farr noted that there has been confusion between the recently approved booster shots and third doses.
Since late August, third doses have been authorized for immunocompromised patients. The shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are authorized solely for patients with compromised immunity.
MCCHD has administered about 400 of those third doses to eligible patients, according to a news release.
“We’ve had lots of questions about the differences between boosters and third doses. The third shots are for a fairly small number of patients, while the boosters approved this month are available to the groups authorized by the FDA and CDC.” - MCCHD COVID-19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr
The vaccine center is continuing to offer first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna shots, and patients may either make an appointment or walk in for those vaccines.
The Southgate site is out of the Janssen vaccine until further notice, according to MCCHD.
The Montana COVID-19 tracking website shows Missoula County is reporting 161 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the most recorded in the state.
To date, a total of 13,199 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Missoula County including 11,547 recoveries and 125 deaths. There were 1,527 active cases in the county on Monday, the second-highest total in Montana.
Missoula County's COVID-19 vaccination rate stands at 65% of the eligible population fully vaccinated.