MDHHS recommends Pfizer booster for immunocompromised, 65 and older

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In this March 2021 photo provided by Pfizer, vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared for packaging at the company’s facility in Puurs, Belgium. (Pfizer via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has released recommendations for Michiganders to get their booster shot if they’ve received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Michiganders aged 65 and older, individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19 due to pre-existing health conditions and those at high risk of COVID-19 due to occupational or institutional exposure are included.

“The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is already protecting millions of Michiganders from this deadly virus. With the Delta variant circulating and cases of COVID-19 increasing, CDC and the FDA have determined that a booster dose is needed for some individuals to maintain and increase that level of protection. We urge all eligible Michiganders to get their booster dose six months after their second dose to help protect against COVID-19.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following groups should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series:

CDC recommends the following groups may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series based on their individual benefits and risks:

  • People aged 18 through 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions.
  • People aged 18 through 64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting.

Per CDC, occupations at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include frontline essential workers and health care workers including:

  • First responders (health care workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff).
  • Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers).
  • Food and agriculture workers.
  • Manufacturing workers.
  • Corrections workers.
  • S. Postal Service workers.
  • Public transit workers.
  • Grocery store workers.

According to MDHHS, this list could be updated in the future.

Following the Sept. 22 decision by the FDA, this updated interim guidance from CDC is following a careful examination of the latest data, and robust and deliberative discussion around booster shots.

The booster recommendation is exclusively for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine.

Under current recommendations, those who received J&J or Moderna are not eligible for a booster vaccine. Additional information regarding booster vaccines for Moerna and J&J should be available within the next few weeks.

Michiganders should bring their COVID-19 vaccine card or immunization record with them when getting their booster dose, which is available at any vaccine provider that have Pfizer vaccine.

Immunization records are available online at the Michigan Immunization Portal for many residents and can be downloaded and printed.

To access records, you need to create a MILogin account at Michigan.gov/MiImmsportal, uploading a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport.

As of today, more than 67.2% of Michiganders- upwards of 5.4 million residents- have gotten at least their first dose of one of the three vaccines. 

From January to July 2021, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 98% of COVID cases, 95% of hospitalizations and 96% of deaths.

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