DHS: Pfizer vaccine booster shots available in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) in a news release on Monday, Sept. 27, said it supports the recommendation that certain populations who have increased risk of exposure to or transmission of COVID-19 receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after having received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“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,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “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 recommends that the following populations SHOULD receive a booster dose of Pfizer at least 6 months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer in order to further strengthen their immunity.

  • People 65 years and older
  • All residents in long-term care
  • People ages 50–64 years with certain underlying medical conditions
    • 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, after considering their individual risks and benefits:

  • People ages 18–49 years with certain underlying medical conditions(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

At this time, the Pfizer booster authorization only applies to people whose primary series was Pfizer vaccine. 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.

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