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DHS: Wis. to offer COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine booster shots

More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are expected soon, DHS said.
COVID vaccine booster (Pfizer) available at Med Center Health.
COVID vaccine booster (Pfizer) available at Med Center Health.(WBKO)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Monday their support of the FDA authorized, CDC recommended Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose.

According to DHS, those who have increased risk of exposure to or transmission of COVID-19 are eligible to receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine.

“Booster doses are another tool at our disposal to stop the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant and slow the spread of COVID-19 in communities throughout Wisconsin,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said.

Those who want to receive the booster must have received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months prior to receiving their third dose.

“Our nation’s leading medical experts reviewed the available data and recommended COVID-19 vaccine booster doses be provided to some people who have received the Pfizer vaccine,” Timberlake said.

DHS recommends the following populations should receive a booster dose of Pfizer six months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer vaccine:

  • People 65 years and older
  • All residents in long-term care
  • People ages 50–64 years with certain underlying medical conditions(link is external):
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
    • Dementia 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 infection
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
    • Liver disease
    • Overweight and obesity
    • 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

DHS recommends that the following populations may receive a booster dose of Pfizer at least six months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer vaccine:

  • People ages 18–49 years with certain underlying medical conditions(link is external) (see above)
  • People ages 18–64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their job or institutional settings. Occupations at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include front line essential workers and health care workers:
    • First responders (health care workers, firefighters, police, staff at congregate care facilities)
    • Education staff (teachers, support staff, childcare workers)
    • Food and agriculture workers
    • Manufacturing workers
    • Corrections workers
    • U.S. Postal Service workers
    • Public transit workers
    • Grocery store workers

This list could be updated in the future.

“It’s important to remember that all the authorized COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection after the primary series,” Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer for the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases said. “Getting every eligible person vaccinated continues to be our most important strategy for preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”

People in the recommended groups who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine will likely need a booster shot in the near future. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are expected soon, DHS said.

For additional information about booster doses, visit the DHS Additional Doses and Booster Doses site.

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