An advisory panel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently voted to recommend approval for booster doses of the Cormirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine for people age 65 and older and those at high risk of severe infection.
The vote follows approval of the boosters by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup met Friday, Sept. 24, and approved the federal recommendation.
The Clatsop County Vaccine Task Force will provide more information soon on local availability of booster shots.
The federal action applies only to the Pfizer vaccine. Eligible people who have received both doses of the two-shot vaccine will be able to receive a third booster dose six months after their second shot.
Federal health authorities are still evaluating whether to recommend booster shots for the other two COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
Individuals with compromised immune systems are currently eligible for additional COVID-19 vaccines doses.
Qualifying conditions include: active cancer treatment, organ transplant immunosuppressive therapy, advanced HIV infection, or high-dose corticosteroid treatment.
Immunocompromised individuals may receive a booster 28 days or more after their second dose. To schedule a shot, contact Clatsop County Public Health at (503) 325-8500, or make an appointment with your primary care home or local pharmacy.
MEDICAL TEAMS INTERNATIONAL
Medical Teams International is again sponsoring local vaccination events in conjunction with its dental outreach clinics at the following times and locations:
• Thursday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Seaside High School
The clinics offer the Cormirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine to individuals age 12 and up.
The Oregon Health Authority and Consejo Hispano are sponsoring regular vaccination clinics in Cannon Beach. The events are held from 3 to 7 p.m. at Haystack Gardens, 148 E. Gower. The Cormirnaty (Pfizer) and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are offered. Upcoming clinics are set for:
• Wednesday, Oct. 20
• Wednesday, Nov. 10
• Wednesday, Dec. 1
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY
Members of the public have asked questions about monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies.
Monoclonal antibody therapies are a new, promising tool available in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. They have been found to be effective as both a treatment for COVID-positive individuals as well as a prophylaxis (preventative) for people exposed to the virus.
However, mAb supplies are very limited, and eligibility is currently restricted to individuals at higher risk due to infection. The federal government is distributing the therapies through state health agencies, and the Oregon Health Authority is allocating the state’s share to providers based on criteria that include local COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates. As of Friday, Sept. 24, mAb therapies are not available from any provider in Clatsop County.
Clatsop County Public Health is working with its health care partners to develop plans to make the mAb therapies available locally in an easy, prompt and equitable way.