(La Porte County, IN) - COVID-19 booster shots will be offered beginning next month in LaPorte County to people who were among the first to receive both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Exactly when booster shots will become available is not known. However, LaPorte County Health Department Administrator Amanda Lahners said her office is expected to receive from the state the first Pfizer and Moderna doses for the booster shots by September 20.
“We get ours from the state when they get it from the federal government. So, it’s a trickle-down to us,” Lahners said.
Lahners said eight months since becoming fully vaccinated has to pass for eligibility for the booster shots under Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Eight months has been determined the point when the vaccine begins to lose some of its protection against the virus.
“If you got your second dose in either January or February you will be one of the first people available to get your booster dose,” she said.
The booster shots will be offered at the vaccination clinic the health department operates on the main level of the old LaPorte Hospital at 1007 Lincolnway in LaPorte.
Lahners said other vaccine providers throughout the county, like Walgreens and Walmart, should also receive Pfizer and Moderna doses for offering booster shots toward the end of next month. People wanting a booster shot are encouraged to show proof of vaccination to help simplify the process. However, Lahners said proof of vaccination is not required because the vaccination status of individuals can be verified from electronic records on a computer.
“If you have your vaccination card with you or a copy of your shot records it’ll just make the process go that much quicker,” she said.
Federal approval to offer booster shots for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is anticipated at some point in the coming weeks. Lahners said 51.6- percent of LaPorte County residents are fully vaccinated. The number of people coming in for the vaccine has slowed dramatically but recently started going back up slightly over concerns about the more contagious Delta variant, she said. She expects demand for booster shots will be just as high as when the COVID-19 vaccines first became available.
Lahners said booster shots recently started being offered to people with immune systems weakened by chemotherapy, HIV, organ transplants, and other medical-related causes.