COVID booster shots are now available locally

by Kate Evans

Booster shots for the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered locally at Health Departments, area pharmacies and physician’s offices.  All have all been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the age ranges eligible to get the vaccine.

Eligibility for boosters

Individuals can get a COVID-19 booster shot if they’ve had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series and it’s been at least six months after a second dose of the vaccine.

People are eligible to receive the booster shots if they are 65 years of age or older, are age 18+ and a resident in a long-term care setting, are age 18+ with underlying medical conditions or are age 18+ and live or work in high risk settings.

A Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is available to those over 18 if it’s been at least two months since the initial dose.  The FDA and the CDC have approved mixing and matching different COVID vaccines, so vaccinated people can safely get any of the three booster shots.

Eligible medical conditions

Adults of any age with the following underlying medical conditions can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 and would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease including moderate to severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), organ transplants, heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies and high blood pressure.

Other medical conditions that are high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include diabetes, dementia, Down syndrome, HIV infection, a weakened immune system,  liver disease, overweight and obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, mental illness, substance use disorders, current or former smoker, tuberculosis, solid organ or blood stem cell transplant and stroke or cerebrovascular disease. These would also qualify one for a booster shot.

Where to get a booster

The Morgan County Health Department has the Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 booster vaccines. To schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 booster vaccine at the Morgan County Health Department, call 304-258-1513, option 1. Leave a message with name and phone number with the name of the vaccine the caller is requesting and someone will return that call.

Walgreens in Berkeley Springs is giving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shots by appointment only.  Use their website to schedule an appointment or call 1-800-WALGREENS or 1-800-925-4733.

Reed’s Pharmacy in Berkeley Springs is offering the Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 booster vaccines by appointment.  This week’s vaccine clinic is scheduled on Thursday.  Clinics vary each week depending on staffing availability. Call 304-258-3800 to schedule getting a booster dose.

Reed’s Pharmacy in Hancock has the Moderna vaccine booster shot only.  Generally vaccines are given on Wednesdays.  Call 301-678-2930 for an appointment.

River Bend Family Medicine has both the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine booster shots available.  Call 301-678-7007 for an appointment and booster shot criteria. Individuals don’t have to be patients to receive the booster shots.

Mountaineer Community Health Center is placing people on a waiting list if they are interested in getting a booster shot so they can order the vaccine. They can be reached at 304-947-5500.

Tri-State Community Health Center in Berkeley Springs, Tri-State Community Health Center in Hancock and the Home Center Pharmacy in Hancock are not offering COVID vaccines or booster shots.

Contact a primary care physician to see if they are offering a booster vaccine.