health dept

The St. Joseph Health Department is awaiting state guidance on administering COVID-19 booster shots. Last week, the booster was approved for those with certain preexisting conditions or who are 65 or older.

The St. Joseph Health Department and other vaccine providers are awaiting word from state and federal agencies on guidelines for COVID-19 boosters.

The FDA approved the booster vaccine to be taken six months after the last dose for those 65 and older or people with preexisting conditions that make them at high risk for COVID-19.

The St. Joseph Health Department will continue to give the vaccine to those who are eligible, as well as provide the booster when given specific guidance from the Department of Health and Senior Services. Clinic Director Connie Werner said it’s expecting the senior population, who had relatively high participation in getting the vaccine, will come to get the booster at similar rates. She said people will not have to go to the same location they went for their first shot to receive a booster.

“I would imagine that the ones who were very self-advocating right out at the start of it all, I wouldn’t expect less getting that booster dose,” Werner said. “It’s always our hope, it’s always our anticipation that there is a good turnout and a good reception to the vaccines.”

Werner said the booster could impact everyone in providing more protection as cases of the delta variant have stretched across all demographics.

“I think showing the improvement of the booster is just helpful for anyone that gets that booster, but they’re certainly going to start with the higher-risk population, which will always be 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions,” Werner said.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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