COVID-19 Booster Shots Available For Eligible Oklahomans

Monday, August 16th 2021, 5:24 pm
By: Erica Rankin

The FDA and CDC have cleared the way for booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine for some, to boost antibody levels.

Boosters have only been cleared for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

"Data has been reviewed for some time now as far as how a third dose of the vaccine can help," said Keith Reed, the Deputy Commissioner of Health.

Oklahoma State Department of Health officials said the data supporting the third dose has shown it can make a huge difference for some.

"Those recommended for the additional dose are specifically for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised," said Dr. Gitanjali Pai, OSDH's Chief Medical Officer.

An estimated 80,000 to 90,000 Oklahomans are eligible for the third shot.

Patients seeking a third dose from OCCHD will be required to legally attest to having one of the following qualifying conditions: a) having undergone solid organ transplantation or b) being diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise to solid organ transplantation.

Conditions could include:

receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
advanced or untreated HIV infection
active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

"We are not requiring individuals to prove they fall under these conditions they will need to attest to having one," said Reed. "They are strongly encouraged to consult with their medical provider about their need for the third dose."

You don't have to go to the same place to get your booster that you did for the first two doses, but it is recommended you get the same vaccine.

"The FDA and CDC are actively working to expand this guidance to other population groups." said Pai. "So, it is possible we may have recommendations in the near future."