More than 675,000 Washington residents have received booster doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
State health officials encourage everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose, especially those at higher risk for developing complications with the virus.
The need for boosters is estimated to be about six months after a person is fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and two months after receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“It’s absolutely critical for those people at higher risk because of occupation or age,” State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah told reporters this week.
While the vaccines are incredibly effective at preventing hospitalization and severe illness, over time, their protection will wane, Shah said.
You can mix and match vaccines for your booster dose.
The following groups are eligible for a booster if they received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago:
- All people 65 and older
- Anyone 18 and older who has underlying health conditions
- Anyone 18 and older who lives in a long-term care setting or works in a high-risk setting, like health care, frontline workers and grocery store workers.
In addition, anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago is now eligible for a booster.
Health officials are also encouraging people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to get the vaccine too. While infection provides some immunity, not everyone produces the same amount of antibodies, and it’s possible to test positive for the virus again, especially if there’s a new variant circulating.
Vaccination offers protection, particularly against severe disease and hospitalization or death, and evidence is beginning to show that vaccination might offer more comprehensive protection than just getting the virus.
Vaccination following infection is the most comprehensive way to be protected from future infection, Dr. Francisco Velázquez said this week.
After a person’s symptoms have resolved, they can get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve been treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.
If you have more questions about when you should get vaccinated following infection, contact your health care provider.
Booster doses are available in Spokane County, and CHAS clinics throughout the region recently began offering pediatric doses of the vaccine.
To find a vaccine, visit the state’s vaccine locator tool or call (833) VAX-HELP.
There are no new case counts to report due to local health districts not being open on Veterans Day.
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