BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you’re wondering if you’re able to receive your COVID-19 booster shot, the answer is probably yes.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration is now giving the green light to expand the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots ahead of the holiday season. Local and state health care leaders are urging Alabamians to get vaccinated as well as making time to get their third dose of the COVID booster shot in an effort to protect yourself and those around you from falling severely ill from the virus.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting a daily drop around 300 to 400 COVID-19 cases a day from August and September.
“It’s certainly better than when we were seeing around 4,000-5,000 cases a day being reported to us so that is a good thing,” Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.
The decrease in cases has caused a ripple effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.
“There just doesn’t seem to be the same urgency in some people’s minds,” Harris said. “Some people who were motivated because they knew someone personally maybe some of those people are still on the fence right now.”
On the other hand, Harris says there’s a growing interest in booster shots throughout the state.
“Almost all the shots were doing right now are booster shots. So about 2.1 million people have received two shots of the MRNA products or one of the J&J products,” said Dr. Harris.
“I’ve already had my third shot and yes I recommend everyone get all three of them if you have any questions or doubts talked to your caregiver. Everybody needs to get vaccinated ya’ll,” Gov. Kay Ivey said.
Recently, the CDC expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots in the U.S. in an effort to help build immunity against the virus.
“People over the age of 65, people over the age of 18 who have an underlying health condition or those who otherwise would benefit from this,” said Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease expert at UAB.
Saag said booster recommendations are following suit with the Food and Drug Administration that recently authorized a mix-and-match booster shot strategy. This allows eligible adults to pick a booster from one of three COVID-19 vaccines.
“J&J get your booster now Pfizer or Moderna. If you got Pfizer or Moderna initially I would take the opposite but make sure if you’re getting Moderna for your booster it’s half a dose 50 micrograms,” Saag said.
With the flu season here, health leaders are urging people to get their flu shots and the COVID-19 shot at the same time as it’s safe and effective.