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What you need to know about getting a COVID-19 booster

By: - September 29, 2021 11:16 am

Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce | Virginia Mercury/States Newsroom

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for certain at-risk populations who received the Pfizer vaccine, which means a large group of Arizonans should be getting ready for another dose very soon. 

The CDC is recommending that anyone over the age of 65 should get a booster if it has been six months since their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Of the over 4 million Arizonans who have received at least one dose, 1.1 million have been over the age of 65. 

“If you got your Pfizer in January, it is recommended that you get a booster,” Arizona Department of Health Services spokesman Steve Elliott told the Arizona Mirror

So far, the recommendation only covers the Pfizer vaccine, though the other vaccines are undergoing a similar evaluation process by the Food and Drug Administration.

Those aged 65 and older are not the only ones who qualify for this new recommendation though. 

People between the ages of 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions should also receive a booster, while those between the ages of 18 to 49 with underlying health conditions “may” receive a booster under the new recommendations. 

People who work in a setting that puts them at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 also may receive a booster shot, as well. 

In order to receive your booster you’ll have to show proof of vaccination. If you got vaccinated at a CVS or Walgreens, those places will likely still have a record of your vaccination on hand if you lost your record there are other ways to get a copy. 

You can request a copy of your immunization record from ADHS that asks for your entire history or just your recent COVID-19 shot. However, it will likely take time for the agency to fill such requests. 

When getting the booster, Arizonans should also consider getting an additional shot: the annual flu vaccine. 

“When you’re there, you can get these at the same time,” Elliott said. “We want to make sure we have as minimal a flu season as we can.” 

Elliott said that keeping flu low will help keep hospitals from being surged with flu and COVID-19 patients, something that was a concern going into last year’s flu season

Anyone seeking a vaccination can find vaccine information online for Maricopa County here and statewide here.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.