Following guidance on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots issued on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Tulsa Health Department announced it would begin administering them immediately.
The CDC and Food and Drug Administration's recommendation said those 65 and older and people 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions should get a third shot of the Pfizer COVID vaccine six months after their second dose.
The CDC went a step further and said younger adults may receive a third shot if they have underlying medical conditions or are at increased risk of exposure because of their jobs.
From doctors’ offices to Walmarts, there are more than 300 Tulsa County providers approved to offer COVID vaccines, and people newly eligible for boosters do not have to get their third dose where they got their first and second shots.
The Tulsa Health Department will continue offering vaccines by appointment, including at a temporary dispensing site at Tulsa Technology Center’s Broken Arrow campus on Monday and Tuesday. Appointments can be made at vaccinate918.com or by calling 211.
THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart said vaccines remain highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID, but a third shot will help boost protection for those most susceptible to the disease.
"As the science and the virus evolves, so do our policies and recommendations. Booster doses are common for many vaccines. The scientists and medical experts who developed the COVID-19 vaccines continue to closely watch for signs of waning immunity, how well the vaccines protect against new mutations of the virus, and how that data differs across age groups and risk factors
THD will also hold a walk-in vaccine clinic for any dose for people attending the Tulsa State Fair, which starts Thursday.
THD has already been offering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems, who may build a lower level of immunity from a two-dose vaccine.