booster shots

COVID-19 Booster Guidance in DC, Maryland and Virginia

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Leaders in the D.C. region have issued guidance for residents who qualify for a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that millions of older and vulnerable Americans get a booster shot.

Not sure if you're eligible for a Pfizer booster? Check here.

If you're eligible, here's the latest guidance on how to get the booster in D.C., Maryland and Virginia:

D.C.

Residents who received the Pfizer vaccine earlier this year should start making a plan to receive their booster shot, DC Health says.

The health department advises to find your vaccine card or access your vaccine record by visiting myir.dc.gov, call your healthcare provider to discuss your options for a booster or visit vaccines.gov to find a location near you.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spoke Friday about her decision to endorse Pfizer booster shots for individuals working in high risk environments.

D.C. residents can "self-attest," i.e. self-report that they are eligible, and receive a booster shot wherever vaccines are offered.

"This will help ensure there are not additional barriers to access for these select populations receiving their booster shot," DC Health says online.

Residents who need support can call 855-363-0333. Eligible residents can go to one of 153 locations around the city that offer free COVID-19 vaccines.

Maryland

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan approved booster shots for the elderly and immune compromised in early September.

“While this action was long overdue, I am glad that the federal government has finally approved booster shots for seniors and high-risk individuals," Hogan said on Friday following the CDC's endorsement of Pfizer booster shots. "It is a significant step toward providing additional protection for our most vulnerable residents, and supports the data-based decision we made earlier this month to move ahead on booster shots for seniors in congregate settings."

Maryland health officials issued a bulletin Friday directing all vaccine providers in the state to immediately make booster shots available to eligible residents who received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago.

"In addition, we are encouraging providers to conduct outreach to previously vaccinated individuals. If you received your second Pfizer dose at least six months ago, you should strongly consider getting a booster shot," Hogan said in a release.

Marylanders can "self-attest" to their eligibility and providers cannot turn anyone away who self attests, the bulletin states.

"We are not turning away folks who based on the list of eligibility criteria determine for themselves that they fit that criteria," Prince George's County Deputy Health Chief Dr. George Askew said.

Volunteers of America saw back-to-back patients wanting booster shots at a clinic in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Tuesday.

Maryland has administered more than 50,000 booster doses, and has "both the supply and the capacity to provide a booster shot to anyone who needs one," according to Hogan.

"We have mobilized a robust network of vaccination providers, including pharmacies, primary care providers, mobile clinics, community health centers, and local health departments," he said.

Governor Ralph Northam says people who received the Pfizer vaccine should be able to get their boosters at any number of locations. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports.

Virginia

Residents who are eligible can receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 wherever vaccines are available, according to the Virginia Department of Health's website. Options include community vaccination clinics, your healthcare provider or a pharmacy.

Most, if not all locations, require an appointment. Check here to make an appointment.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told residents in a news conference Monday not to get the shot if they aren’t supposed to.

"When you get there, it’s on the honor system. The person giving shots is not required to ask you about your vaccination status. So, it's up to you to do the right thing," Northam said.

One pharmacist told News4 she’s turned away many people who got the Moderna vaccine who came to get a booster shot.

"A lot of Moderna people are coming and we are turning [away], like, hundreds a day," said Judy Gulelat, with Van Dorn Pharmacy.

The Washington Post reports that Virginia officials have planned for the rollout of boosters since mid-August and said they’re prepared.

“We have no concerns about current supplies . . . and have the ability to draw down approximately two million more doses that have been set aside in reserve for us,” Danny Avula, Virginia’s vaccine coordinator, tolld the Post.

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