Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health to offer drive-thru clinic for COVID-19 booster shots

photo by: AP File

In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health will soon begin offering a drive-thru clinic for COVID-19 booster shots for those who qualify under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The clinic will be held at LMH Health beginning Wednesday, and those who are eligible for a booster can sign up for an appointment online, according to a news release. The health department offered guidance for those who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and qualify for a booster dose, which include adults 65 and older, adults of any age with underlying medical conditions, and those who are at an increased risk of transmission due to their job.

The booster dose helps increase protection against COVID-19 for those who are at highest risk of getting the disease, and have not been approved for the general public. The CDC recommends a booster dose for individuals who have completed the two-dose series with a Pfizer vaccine and are:

•65 years and older, or

•Residents of a long-term care setting, or

•50 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung diseases, Down syndrome, dementia, heart conditions, diabetes, HIV, immunocompromised state, liver disease, overweight or obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease or thalassemia, smoking, solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, stroke and substance use disorders.

The CDC also approved a booster dose for individuals who have completed the two- dose series with a Pfizer vaccine and are:

•18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions, or

•18-64 years old who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of an occupational or institutional setting. People in these settings may include health care workers, teachers, grocery store workers, retail workers, first responders, and residents and staff in congregant settings.

For those who are unsure if they qualify, it is recommended to speak to a health care provider to determine eligibility. If you’ve had previous negative reactions to the COVID vaccine, it is recommended to get the booster dose from your health care provider. It is recommended to receive the booster dose at least six months after the final Pfizer dose. A booster dose has not been approved for individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccinations.

For those who qualify for a booster, an appointment can be made online at ldchealth.org/covidvaccine or by calling Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health at 785-843-0721. Appointments are available: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday (Sept. 29-Oct. 1), Monday-Tuesday (Oct. 4-5) and Thursday-Friday (Oct. 7-8). The doses will be provided at the LMH Health COVID Vaccination Drive Thru Center, which can be accessed from the patient and visitor entrance at 330 Arkansas St.

The health department states that more appointments will be made available depending on demand for the booster dose. Individuals are encouraged to bring their COVID vaccination card and/or health insurance card, but it is not required. Booster doses also are available through many local primary care providers and pharmacies.

Those with questions about COVID vaccinations may contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s helpline at 866-534-3463. Information about local COVID- 19 resources and data is available on the Douglas County Coronavirus Hub at douglascountyks.org/coronavirus.

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