Suppliers await green light for COVID booster injections


Healthcare providers are now administering COVID-19 injections to immunocompromised people who have already received their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Soldotna Professional Pharmacy co-owner Justin Ruffridge said his pharmacy gives several third injections each day, both Pfizer and Moderna, to people who are immunocompromised. These third injections are intended to help them strengthen their immunity to the virus.

But he said they are still waiting for federal guidance on whether the general public should receive recalls.

“There is a question, I think, about the overall purpose of these vaccines,” Ruffridge said. “If the goal is to prevent hospitalization and death, potentially a booster for the wide variety of people who have received vaccines is not necessary. keeping COVID at bay, so maybe a recall is warranted sooner rather than later. ”

The Biden administration previously set a target on September 20 for the booster injections to be available to the general public. But that date has been in motion as officials and scientists debate the merits of getting the third shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who are immunocompromised receive an additional dose of the vaccine 28 days or more after receiving their first two injections. The CDC has a list of conditions online that may justify obtaining the recall.

In the meantime, flu season is approaching.

“There are discussions about getting a combined COVID-flu vaccine here in the near future,” Ruffrdige said. “But that also remains unresolved.”

State officials say that with few hospital beds available in the state, there are now more reasons than ever to get the flu shot.

Providence Alaska Medical Center said this week it is now rationing medical care as COVID-19 patients fill the hospital.

Central Peninsula Hospital spokesman Bruce Richards said Wednesday that CPH is also in overcapacity. But at this time, the hospital is not refusing patients or implementing crisis care standards.

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