FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — COVID-19 booster shots are now available for servicemembers.
The Tricare newsroom announced on Thursday that booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine are now available at military medical treatment facilities and all Department of Defense vaccination sites. This is after the Food and Drug Administration, Center of Disease Control and Prevention and New York State Department of Health recommended a booster shot for certain individuals.
According to the CDC, a booster shot is different from an “additional dose” of the vaccine. A booster shot aims to increase waning immunity observed over time. This is initially recommended for those with weakened immune systems. The following individuals are eligible to receive a single Pfizer booster vaccine:
- Individual 65 years and older and residents in long-term care facilities
- Individuals 18 and older in long-term care settings
- Individuals ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions
- Individuals aged 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions based on their individual benefits and risks
- Individuals ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings such as teachers, frontline health care workers and essential workers, and those incarcerated, based on their individual benefits and risks.
A booster shot is limited to those who previously received a two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for their initial vaccination. Booster shots are not recommended for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There is currently a six-month waiting period after the completion of the second Pfizer dose.
Proof of an underlying condition or an occupational risk is not required to receive this dose at DoD sites. Booster doses are not currently included in the DoD or federal worker mandates for COVID-19 vaccine requirements.