REINBECK, Iowa (KWWL) - The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine booster dose for certain groups Friday. Local providers in the Cedar Valley are now administering the booster vaccine for those eligible.
The booster dose is for those who received the Pfizer vaccine only and is given six months following the second dose of the two-dose vaccine series. Health experts urge folks to get the shot as new variants continue to pop up.
"There have been some studies that have noticed some waning immunity," Black Hawk County Health Disease and Surveillance Investigation Manager Joshua Pikora said.
As COVID-19 is still around, the disease can also still infect those who are vaccinated. A booster shot can boost immunity and fight off serious illness.
"It gives people added protection, help reduce the strain on the healthcare system, and ultimately, the idea is, it will help get this pandemic behind us," Pikora said.
The CDC highly recommends getting the booster for people over the age of 65, those living in long-term care facilities and, those aged 50-64 with underlying health conditions.
Other eligible populations include people 18-49 with underlying health conditions and 18-64 who work or live in high-risk settings.
"It's probably going to be something that's an annual thing going forward just like the flu shot," Reinbeck Pharmacy pharmacist and owner Brent Bovy said.
The majority of those who have wanted a vaccine have already received one. Those who continue to go into providers to get vaccinated are getting the shot now because they either weren't able to in the past, or the recent mandates are requiring them to.
The Reinbeck Pharmacy still has a surplus of vaccines and some doses have gone to waste.
"With the larger need for booster shots that happening less and less," Bovy said.
Many people in the Reinbeck area will not receive the Pfizer booster shot because the majority of vaccinations were of the Moderna vaccine. However, people are still going to the local pharmacy to receive the booster dose.
"I had my first vaccine at the end of December and my second one in January," Nurse Val Bovy said.
Val Bovy is the wife of Brent Bovy and also works at the business. She recently received her third shot, the booster dose, and says she wanted to do so in order to stay healthy and continue to help out at their pharmacy. She also wanted to get the third shot to protect her family.
"We have three younger children all under the age of 12 so none of those were able to get the vaccine at this time. And we both have grandparents in their 90s and it's important to us to spend time with them," Val Bovy said.
For those who want to go and receive their booster shot, you do not need to go to the same provider to get it. Any provider of the Pfizer vaccine can administer the third shot as long as the patient received Pfizer for their initial two vaccinations.
Pfizer and Moderna do have a third dose available 28 days after the second dose, but it is only available to those who are immunocompromised. Therefore, folks who fall into that category won't have to wait six months in order to get that extra protection.