CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With vaccine approvals and changes to booster-shot eligibility against COVID-19, it can be challenging to keep up with the new information.
Nueces County vaccine clinics began giving out the Pfizer booster shots on Friday, after it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Local doctors said people are coming in confused as to whether or not they are eligible.
Here is a breakdown of the latest on who can receive the booster shots, according to the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District's Dr. Kim Onufrak.
For right now, the main push for the booster shot is the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
They recommend that anyone age 65 and older receive the booster shot six months after their second dose. This is only for people who received the Pfizer vaccine.
Anyone over 18 may receive a booster if they have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk, or if their workplace is a high-risk environment for infection. Still, you must wait six months after your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The main difference to note is that, for younger groups, it is a decision to make depending on your circumstances, but the focus currently lies with those who are older.
Onufrak said the reason for the booster shot is that Pfizer is seeing fully vaccinated people start to have waning immunity to the novel coronavirus.
Some locals, such as Hank Schleider, have already taken advantage of their eligibility.
“I’m just trying to do my part to help stop the pandemic," he said. "And they first said we might need a booster after eight months, and now they said six months, so it seems to be getting more critical, so I came on and got it.”
Onufrak said the reason booster shots have only been approved for Pfizer is that not enough studies have shown that an additional shot is necessary for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
She says there may be booster shots coming for the other vaccines in the future, and to pay attention to the CDC’s website for those updates.