State health departments offer boosters to adults 18 and older

Published 12:11 pm Monday, November 29, 2021

The Mississippi State Department of Health announced that Mississippians 18 and older can make appointments for their COVID-19 booster shots at all county health departments.

This announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expansion of booster eligibility to all adults 18 and over.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., said the unanimous decision was carefully considered the current state of the pandemic, the effectiveness of vaccines over time and the safety data review from people who have received a COVID-19 primary vaccine and booster.

A Science study showed the Moderna two-dose vaccine went from being 89% effective to 58% effective in over six months. In the same period, the Pfizer vaccine went from being 87% effective to 45% effective and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine went from 86% effectiveness to 13%.

Recent evidence proves booster shots can increase vaccine effectiveness up to 90% and offer up better defenses against the coronavirus than natural antibodies.

“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays,” said Walensky. “Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose.”

You can get a booster shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if you are at least 18 years old and it has been at least six months since your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or it’s been at least two months since your one shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The date of your last shot will be verified when you arrive to receive your booster shot.

Appointments can be made through covidvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 877-978-6453.

The CDC encourages adults who are not vaccinated to go and receive them as soon as possible. Currently, 47 million adults in the United States are unvaccinated and only 1.4 million, or 56%, of Mississippi is fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are still available across the state from local providers, pharmacies and clinics.

Visit www.vaccines.gov/search to find locations near you where you can receive first and second COVID-19 shots as well as additional COVID-19 shots for weakened immune systems and boosters. MSDH also has first and second shots of COVID-19 vaccine available at county health departments.

If available, patients should bring their COVID-19 vaccine card to your appointment, if they have received prior shots of COVID-19 vaccine.