MISSOULA - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized additional Pfizer or Moderna vaccine boosters.
Health experts are now hoping to get ahead of a possible upcoming surge, but not just anyone can get in line for a second shot.
Currently, only adults 50 and older, younger people with weakened immune systems, and those who received two Johnson and Johnson shots are eligible for the second booster.
People who are eligible will have access to the jab in Missoula County within a week.
The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) provided additional details:
- For those eligible populations, you can get your second booster FOUR months after receiving your first booster.
- Most pharmacies are giving second boosters already, and the Health Department hopes to be offering theirs as early as Saturday, although it might get pushed to Monday.
- Whether you haven’t been vaccinated at all or you’re ready for your second booster, all vaccine appointments are happening at the health department at 301 West Alder Street.
- You can find hours for walk-in visits, and the phone number to call and make an appointment at https://www.missoulainfo.com/.
Missoula County — and Montana — are currently experiencing some of the lowest COVID-19 numbers since the start of the pandemic.
However, the new BA.2 variant is circulating through the US.
If you’re on the fence about whether a second booster is necessary, the health department says “up-to-date protection is the best protection” regardless of what the case levels look like.
“Things are low, and we're happy about that, but you never know when another variant could arrive or the situation may change and you want to be protected. Before that happens, you don't want there to be a spike in case levels and then run and get your booster because boosters do take some time to kick in and the vaccines are still remarkably effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization due to the virus.” - MCCHD Lead Public Information Officer Hayley Devlin
Something about COVID-19 is not feeling as dire these days is how should people approach vaccines.
We live with the virus now and it's not going away. So just like you'd stay up to date on your flu shot, health experts say you should do the same with the COVID-19 vaccine.