Richmond and Henrico Health Districts to begin administering Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Following new guidelines from the CDC and FDA regarding Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will open appointments for the shots on Monday.
“We want to encourage folks to think about it. If they’re eligible, to think about setting up that appointment,” RHHD Deputy Director Dr. Melissa Viray, said.
People who qualify can set an appointment anytime six months following the date of their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, although Dr. Viray says that people who became fully vaccinated six to nine months ago still have good protection from the virus.
Qualified individuals will fall into one of the following categories:
- Individuals 65 years or older
- Individuals 18 years or older living in a long-term care setting
- Individuals aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for severe COVID-19
- Individuals aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for severe COVID-19 based on their individual benefits and risks
- Individuals aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting based on their individual benefits and risk
“We don’t have the supply concerns we had in January and February. We have pharmacies, providers, the health district,” added Dr. Viray.
The Virginia Department of Health has launched a registration site with local providers: vax.rchd.com. Interested people can also call 804-205-3501.
Local providers, like Hope Pharmacy in Church Hill, have registration on their own site, with simplified instructions for their patients.
“When we did this back in January, February, March, April, we did not have this system. Everyone had to come and fill out a paper form, but now they have an option,” said Hope Pharmacy owner, Dr. Shantelle Brown, adding that Hope does take walk-ins for booster shots.
But for those worried about the sometimes grueling vaccine symptoms, Dr. Viray said that data from the Pfizer trials did not show worsened symptoms on the third dose:
“There was a worsening from one to two, there is not a worsening from two to three.”
RHHD will offer boosters by appointment only at vax.rchd.com or through 804-205-3501, and requests individuals bring their vaccination card.
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