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COVID booster vaccine now available in Great Falls

Military veterans receive COVID vaccine in Havre
Posted at 5:58 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 19:58:41-04

GREAT FALLS — In September 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued new recommendations for certain people to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The City-County Health Department in Great Falls is now offering third doses or booster doses as set forth below.

The CCHD said in a news release that at least 28 days after the second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a third dose is available to people with moderately or severely compromised immune systems. To be eligible, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥ 20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

Additionally, a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, at least 6 months after completion of the primary two-dose series, is available to the following:

  • People 65 years and older
  • Residents in long-term care settings
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions (see below)
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions (see below), based on their individual benefits and risks
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting

The CDC has identified the following underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension
  • HIV
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity or overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy or recent pregnancy (42 days following the end of pregnancy)
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders, such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder

If you are eligible, please visit MTreadyclinic.org to schedule a third dose or booster dose, or email CCHD at vaccine@cascadecountymt.gov with your name, date of birth, address, phone number, and any relevant health conditions.

If you do not have access to a computer or internet, call the CCHD at 406-791-9250 and leave a voicemail with the same information and a CCHD representative will contact you to schedule. Scheduling online is preferred to prevent overloading the phone line.

Additional doses or boosters of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine have not been approved at this time, and you should not “mix and match” vaccines from different manufacturers.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a third dose or booster dose, talki with your physician or other healthcare provider before scheduling an appointment.