On Nov. 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for adults 18 years old and older.

The booster dose is recommended for individuals that completed an mRNA sequence at least six months ago. The purpose of a booster is to enhance the protective benefit of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infections, according to a news release from Tri-County. This helps prevent COVID-19 illness and hospitalization.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices released the following guidelines:

These individuals should receive the booster:

  • 50 years old and older

  • 18 years old and older living in a long-term care facility

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These individuals may receive the booster:

  • Adults 18 years old and older

Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster dose of the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months after the first dose.

Studies indicate the COVID-19 infection rate is 11 times lower roughly two weeks after the booster dose. The rate of severe COVID-19 infection is almost 20 times lower following the booster dose, according to the release.

The booster is available at Tri-County Health Care. You can call 218-631-3510 to schedule a vaccine appointment, whether for your first dose or booster. All COVID-19 vaccines are 100% free. Tri-County does not charge an administration fee.

For more information about COVID-19 and Tri-County Health Care’s immunization efforts, visit tchc.org/covid19.