A health care worker preparing a dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Updated at 11:30 a.m.
Vermont has opened registration to those 80 and older who are eligible for a booster shot of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The state's announcement on Thursday came hours after an advisory group within the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the jabs for people 65 and older. Later, after midnight Friday morning, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that boosters would also be available to younger people at higher risk of contracting the disease because of underlying health conditions or their jobs, such as health care workers.
Walensky’s decision aligns with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which authorized emergency use of the vaccine for similar groups, including people who live in congregant settings, such as those in prison.
Later Friday morning, the state said it would open registration on October 1 to those between the ages of 18 and 64 who have underlying medical conditions.
"It is anticipated these conditions will be more specifically defined by the CDC later" Friday, the governor's office said in a press release.
The state, though, is waiting for further CDC guidance "on what occupational or institutional settings at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure should be eligible for booster shots." More information is expected next week.
Registration in Vermont is opening by age group. Those 80 and above could sign up on Friday morning; 75 and up can do so on Monday; 70 and up on Wednesday; and 65 and up on Friday, October 1. The Vermont Department of Health is setting up clinics to administer the jabs, which are also available at pharmacies and from health care providers. More information is available here.
Only those who have received their two-dose course of the Pfizer shot are eligible for the third booster shot, though “it is expected” that Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will receive federal clearance for boosters in the coming weeks, the state said in a Thursday night press release. The third shots are intended for people who received a second dose at least six months ago.
“Even though COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are highly effective, a booster dose gives your body extra protection,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine said in the statement. “Getting vaccinated – and receiving a booster shot when you are eligible – is especially important as the world continues to face the Delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.”