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September 30, 2021 3:05 PM

COVID Vaccine Boosters Now Offered at County Health Departments

You can now book your appointment for a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine which is available at all county health department clinics. Mississippi State Department of Health says booster shots help maintain your immunity, which may decrease over time.

You can get a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine if you are:
• Fully vaccinated with two shots of Pfizer, AND
• It’s been at least 6 months since your last shot of Pfizer.

And you must fall into one of the following categories:
• Adults aged 65 years and older, OR
• Long-term care facility residents, OR
• Adults aged 18 and older with certain underlying medical conditions
• Adults aged 18 and older in certain occupations that increase their risk of exposure
o First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
o Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
o Food and agriculture workers
o Manufacturing workers
o Corrections workers
o U.S. Postal Service workers
o Public transit workers
o Grocery store workers

Underlying Medical Conditions
Underlying medical conditions qualifying for a booster dose:
• Chronic kidney disease
• Chronic lung diseases (COPD, asthma, etc.)
• Dementia or other neurological conditions
• Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
• Down syndrome
• Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies)
• Hypertension
• Liver disease
• Overweight, obesity or severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) over 25 kg/m2)
• Pregnancy
• Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
• Smoking (current or former)
• Stroke
• Substance abuse disorders
• Other medical conditions determined by a medical provider

Third Vaccine Doses
A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine can provide added protection if you have a medical condition that affects your immune system and you are at high risk for developing more serious illness from COVID-19.

Third vaccine doses are available only for those who received Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, and whose last shot was at least 4 weeks ago.

Qualifying Conditions
You qualify for a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine if you:
• Have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
• Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
• Are receiving active treatment with high-dose steroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
• Have any other medical condition that your provider says will limit your immune response

Getting a Third Dose
You can schedule an additional vaccination dose at a county health department or through your doctor or regular health care provider.
What is a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
A COVID booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time. Typically, you would get a booster after the immunity from the initial dose(s) naturally starts to wane. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.

What is a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine?
A third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) is identical to the first two doses. The difference lies in the purpose of the vaccine. A Third Dose can help protect people with weakened immune systems who did not have a strong enough response to the first two doses of one of the mRNA vaccines. Such people can get a third dose as soon as 28 days after a second dose. The FDA has authorized, and the CDC recommends, that those with certain medical conditions that suppress the immune system get a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna – which ever was the same brand of COVID-19 vaccine that they initially received.

Booster vs Third Dose Vaccine
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