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County Now Offers Vaccine Boosters

Houston – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine booster for people in certain groups. Eligible residents include those who completed their two-dose mRNA vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) at least six months ago and anyone who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. Eligible fully vaccinated residents can get a booster dose of the vaccine of their choice.

All COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection for most people. A booster vaccine in an additional dose given after the protection provided by the original series has begun to decrease over time. The Pfizer booster helps certain groups of people maintain their level of immunity longer.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their primary series:

–65 years and older

–Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings

–Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions

–Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

Note: The Moderna COVID-19 booster dose is half of the dose that is administered for the primary series dose.

For individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

Additional Doses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days after the initial two doses. This includes recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people taking medications that weaken the immune system, and others. A full list of conditions can be found on the CDC’s website.

Fully vaccinated people with weakened immune systems do not get as much protection as people with healthy immune systems. The additional dose helps boosts their immunity to the level of fully vaccinated people who are not immunocompromised. Please contact your healthcare provider to find out if an additional dose or booster is recommended for you.

Additional doses and vaccine boosters are free at HCPH designated sites and vaccine appointments are not required, although they are recommended. Go to vacstrac.hctx.net or call 832-927-8787. To find a location near you click here. Please remember to bring your COVID-19 vaccination card with you to receive a booster shot.

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