October 12, 2021
(Austin) – Central Health-affiliated CommUnityCare Health Centers announced guidelines and eligibility requirements for COVID-19 booster shots for patients and non-patients who received their second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, to be eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, individuals must have completed their primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series at least six months ago AND are either:
- 65 years of age and older
- residents of long-term care facilities
- aged 50-64 with an underlying medical condition
- aged 18-49 with an underlying medical condition who want a booster vaccine based on individual assessment of benefit and risk
- aged 18-64 who are in an occupational or institutional setting where the burden of COVID-19 infection and risk of transmission is high (including but not limited to healthcare workers, first responders, and teachers)
Studies have shown that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus, including the delta variant, may decrease over time. COVID-19 vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent severe disease, although data suggests that mild disease may still occur, especially with the delta variant. Based on clinical trial data, a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot improves protection against COVID-19, including the delta variant.
“We strongly encourage recommended groups who got their second COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine more than six months ago to get a booster shot now,” CommUnityCare CEO Jaeson Fournier said, while noting that, “Eligible CommUnityCare patients can schedule their booster shot by calling 512-978-9015 or they can stop by our Rosewood Zaragosa Vaccine Clinic,
North Central Health Center, or the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center to get their booster without an appointment.”
CommUnityCare will also be providing the COVID-19 boosters to anyone from the community who is eligible to receive their COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech booster at the walk-in sites mentioned above.
Consistent with CDC guidance, CommUnityCare will only be providing the Pfizer-BioNTech booster to people already vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. People in the eligible groups who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine might also see enhanced protection from a booster shot but will need to wait for further study and analysis from the CDC and authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Vaccines are the most important protection against COVID-19, but we must do even more,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said. “As long as COVID-19 continues to spread in our community, even vaccinated people should be cautious about indoor and outdoor gatherings, and while shopping, eating out, and traveling. Masks are an added level of protection and we should keep wearing them as continue to work on getting everyone in our community fully vaccinated.”