Nurse Barb Loubey, left, places a Band-Aid on a patient’s arm after administering the COVID-19 vaccine booster Friday at East Hills Shopping Center. Nearly 500 people received booster shots Friday.

Nearly 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine booster were given out by Mosaic Life Care on Friday at East Hills Shopping Center.

Around 3,000 qualified residents have shown interest in receiving the booster, Mosaic Internal Medicine Specialist Edward Kammerer said. There is no plan for a second booster clinic, but that could change in the future.

“We will assess the need within the community and whether the health department can deliver it, the other pharmacies, and whether we’ll need to open this site up on any other days,” he said. “But we will presume that we’ll have additional days we’ll add to it.”

Current doses are reserved for residents with health concerns, over age 65 or health care workers.

It’s important to establish communication with those receiving shots. It helps to answer questions and concerns to put residents at ease before they receive shots, said Miranda Stephens, a nursing student at Missouri Western State University.

“It kind of builds that rapport and that interpersonal relationship that you want to gain with your patients as a nurse,” she said. “It can make the difference (between) them leaving unsure and kind of nervous and them leaving with a positive outlook on the vaccine.”

One of her patients had concerns about the symptoms she might experience, Stephens said.

“She was expressing to me how she felt pretty bad after the second one,” she said. “I was just explaining to her kind of what the normal side effects and what’s not normal and when to contact her doctor.”

Side effects for the booster aren’t expected to be any worse than the second vaccine dose was for residents, Kammerer said.

“It’s a re-energizing of your immune system,” he said. “We would anticipate that perhaps you’ll see a little bit of an increase with regard to sore arms, but again, we wouldn’t anticipate any more significant side effects than your second shot.”

The booster administered by Mosaic is specific to Pfizer, but other companies are expected to have booster shots available soon, Kammerer said. Those who received vaccines from other companies aren’t barred from receiving Pfizer, but it might not be as effective.

Alex Simone can be reached at alex.simone@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter at @np_simone.

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