CLEVELAND — Millions of Americans are now able to get a COVID-19 booster shot and pharmacies are preparing for the new wave of demand.
Jason Briscoe, the Discount Drug Mart’s Director of Pharmacy Operations, says the FDA’s recent approval of Pfizer’s booster shot is fueling some that demand.
“Over the weekend we've seen a very high demand and a high interest in folks seeking the booster,” he said.
Briscoe says the pharmacy is currently notifying customers in their system to schedule an appointment for the booster shot.
“We're going to send them a notification that says, hey, you are now eligible for your booster shot. If you would like to schedule, please pick the day that you would like the store that you would like and the time that you would like.”
Who can get a COVID booster shot?
The Ohio Department of Health is encouraging those 65 and older to get a booster COVID shot along with those ages 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions. Those between ages 18 to 49 with certain underlying medical conditions and occupational settings may also be eligible for a booster shot. However, you must wait six months after receiving your second vaccine shot or completed vaccination before getting a booster shot.
“Broadly what we're talking about is making sure, sure, those that are at high, highest risk for negative outcomes related to hospitalizations and again, death is they have this booster shot to prevent those negative outcomes,” said Briscoe.
Is there enough vaccine supply for booster shots?
U.S health officials are confident there is enough supply to cover booster shots and continue providing doses for those not yet vaccinated. Pfizer execs say they alone have enough to cover booster shots and first-time doses.
According to Briscoe, Discount Drug Mart and many other vaccine locations will not have to turn anyone away.
“Folks will not have a hard time finding a place to be vaccinated based on supply being how it is,” said Briscoe.
Still, Giant Eagle is providing vaccines by appointment only. The company’s teams say they want to make sure those who qualify can get their booster shots in a timely manner.