The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) encourages eligible fully vaccinated Wyoming adults to enhance and extend their protection against COVID-19 by getting a single booster dose of one of the available free, safe and effective vaccines.
National experts have updated their booster recommendations to include anyone 18 and over who received their second Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose at least six months ago and anyone 18 and over who received a Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised the booster recommendations following authorization by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be safe and effective against COVID-19, including the variants, and are especially good at protecting against severe illness,” Harrist said. “We’re learning that a single booster dose for fully vaccinated adults can enhance and extend the strong protection these vaccines provide.”
More than 55,000 Wyoming adults have already received a third dose of either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
“Enhanced protection offered by booster doses is especially important for those most likely to experience severe illness or exposure to the virus,” Harrist said. “The risk for serious COVID-19 illness increases with age and is affected by certain medical conditions or pregnancy.”
Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may need hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator to help them breathe or they may even die.
“Wyoming’s low vaccination rates continue to make too many of our residents vulnerable to the aggressive Delta variant. We continue to see more case counts, hospitalizations and deaths in than we should,” Harrist said.
“We encourage anyone who has not yet made the choice to get a COVID-19 vaccine to reconsider and say yes to this important protection,” Harrist said. “At the same time, we want people who have been fully vaccinated to take this step to help themselves with a single booster dose.”
Harrist reminded parents that youth ages 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and children ages 5-11 are eligible for a dose of the Pfizer vaccine meant for that age group.
All COVID-19 vaccine doses continue to be offered at no cost to those who receive them and vaccine supplies are plentiful across the state.
Convenient ways to find where to get COVID-19 vaccines include:
· Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX) or 822862 (VACUNA) to find up to three nearby locations that have vaccines available.
· Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 for phone-based help.
A “mix and match” approach for booster doses is fine; people may receive COVID-19 booster doses produced by a different company than what they were given earlier. For example, those who previously received the one-dose Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine may choose a booster dose of either a Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
It is also considered safe to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine dose at the same time.
A person is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after one dose of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
More information from WDH about vaccination in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.