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DHEC Supports CDC’s Recommendation for Pfizer Brand COVID-19 Booster Shots for High-Risk Populations

By September 24, 2021No Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. ― Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Pfizer brand COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for certain high-risk populations. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) supports this recommendation and is encouraging Palmetto State residents to follow the CDC guidance, which can be found here.

In part the recommendation states:

  • people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
  • people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

“This is an important step in our continued efforts to keep our families and friends safe by  decreasing the number of severe COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “The data shows that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 has declined faster in the elderly, as well as individuals with underlying health conditions. In addition, we need to ensure our workforce that is regularly exposed to the public, such as healthcare workers, continue to be protected to the fullest extent. We’re fortunate to be able to offer booster doses for the folks in those populations who received the Pfizer vaccine in their primary vaccine series, and we encourage them to get the booster dose as soon as they reach six months after their second dose of Pfizer.”

The FDA and CDC are currently evaluating the need for booster doses for those who received the two-dose Moderna vaccine, and the single-shot Janssen. DHEC will provide details on those efforts once more information becomes available.

Initial COVID-19 vaccinations are available for ages 12 and up. Visit DHEC COVID-19 webpage for more information, the locator page to find a nearby place to get vaccinated, or call our Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110.