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Vaccine booster shots are now available for immunocompromised people

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department
People will not be required to prove that they have a condition to receive a third dose, but simply attest to their status.

Health officials are recommending all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging Delta variant, but for now, only those who are immunocompromised can get one — including here on the Central Coast.

People with compromised immune systems who already got two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine can now get a third shot to boost their protection from COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not currently recommending a booster shot for those who received the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“There is a short list of different types of people who qualify for the third dose at this time,” said Michelle Shoresman with SLO County Public Health.

That list includes cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, and those with HIV infections. 

“It’s actually being treated like a third shot in a series," Shoresman said. "For the folks who are eligible to receive this third dose, they are saying you can get it anytime after 28 days after your second dose.”

CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens are both now administering the booster shot for those with weakened immune systems.

CVS said people will need to schedule appointments online, while Walgreens is offering same-day appointments on a walk-in basis.

SLO County will start taking appointments on Monday, August 23 and will offer them at the three brick and mortar county sites, but not at the mobile clinics. People can book an appointmnet on the My Turn website.

“Part of that process will be a self attestation through the ‘My Turn’ online system that we’ve been doing all our appointments through," Shoresman said. "They will be able to self attest that they qualify and won't have to prove and provide a doctor's note.”

For those getting the booster shot, they’ll need to bring their vaccination card and proof of insurance, though the shot is free.

While the Biden administration has called for the opportunity for all Americans to get a booster shot starting September 20th, Shoresman said they will be waiting to hear from the state level on how that’ll be administered.

“It’s anybody's guess when or if that will happen," Shoresman said. "But right now, we are focused on starting to get those third doses into the immunocompromised population as soon as we can.”

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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