Booster shots approved for all three vaccines as cases rise

Wilkin County has 42 active cases as of Thursday, Oct. 21. Active cases have averaged 42-57 in recent weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved booster shots for all three COVID-19 vaccines Thursday, Oct. 21.

A Pfizer booster was previously approved for individuals who had received their second dose six or more months before. A Moderna booster shot is now approved for individuals six or more months from the time of their second dose.

Those who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are considered eligible for a booster dose if they are:

65 years and older

Age 18-plus who live in long-term care settings

Age 18-plus who have underlying medical conditions

Age 18-plus who work or live in high-risk settings

The Johnson & Johnson booster is available for all individuals who received their original dose two or more months ago, according to the CDC.

Individuals are allowed to mix and match vaccines when getting the booster dose if there is a different kind they would like, the CDC stated in a release.

“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky stated. “The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe – as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

Minnesota providers can begin administering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses, Minnesota Gov. Walz stated in a release Friday, Oct. 22. The North Dakota Department of Health also gave the green light for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, although booster doses may not be available until later next week, according to a Friday release.

Richland County Department of Health will have two vaccine clinics next week from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Richland Junior and Senior High School, Colfax, North Dakota, and the Wahpeton Event Center, respectively.

Wilkin County Public Health will not be ready to administer Moderna doses at this time due to a broken freezer, said Ashley Wiertzema, Wilkin County Public Health. Without a means of storage, public health will continue administering Pfizer booster shots at the weekly vaccine clinics. Wilkin County Public Health does not administer Johnson & Johnson doses, she said.

A new Minnesota vaccine incentive was rolled out last week, named “Kids Deserve a Shot!” that awards youth aged 12-17 who receive their first dose between Oct. 18 and Nov. 9 and receive their second dose by Nov. 30 a $200 Visa gift card. Parents and guardians can also enter their child in a drawing to win a $100,000 Minnesota college scholarship. Pfizer is currently the only vaccine FDA-approved for the age group.

Wilkin County has 42 active cases as of Thursday, Oct. 21. Active cases have averaged 42-57 in recent weeks. Wiertzema said she expects active cases to remain in that range through the end of the month.

Richland County has 78 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday. Currently, in North Dakota, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are five times less likely to contract the virus, five times less likely to be hospitalized and three times less likely to die, according to NDDoH.

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