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Pfizer booster shot approved by CDC for at-risk groups

September 24, 2021, 10:25 am

The state of Colorado on Friday issued the following press release on Thursday’s move by the federal Centers for Disease Control to approve booster shots of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for at-risk groups:

DENVER (September 24, 2021) — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people at higher risk for COVID-19. Booster doses should be given at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The updated CDC guidance recommends Pfizer booster shots for people 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions. The recommendations also state that people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions 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 Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks.

“This booster dose authorization is an important step in ensuring Coloradans most at-risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes have the greatest protection possible,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander. “We have the capacity across the state to administer these doses while continuing to offer first doses to the unvaccinated and and second doses to those who have received only one dose.”

These recommendations apply to individuals who received Pfizer-BioNTech for their first two vaccine doses at least six months ago. This announcement allows Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots to be given immediately to anyone eligible. People who received a Johnson & Johnson/Janssen or Moderna vaccine should continue to wait for more information. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Moderna booster shots are expected in the coming weeks.

The state has enough vaccine supply for providers to keep up with any increased demand related to today’s announcement and to provide eligible Coloradans with a booster dose immediately. Vaccine effectiveness may decrease over time in certain people, and a booster dose can help bring up immunity levels. Booster doses are common practice in routine childhood vaccines and require multiple doses at specific intervals to be most effective. 

Colorado’s four large community vaccination sites in Aurora, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, and Littleton can accommodate up to 1,000 doses per day each and can provide first, second, and booster doses. Each site is open until September 30. This is in addition to Colorado’s more than 1,670 vaccine providers across the state. Coloradans can find more information or a location near them at covid19.colorado.gov/vaccinefinder

Booster doses are free and no ID, insurance or proof of medical history is required. Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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