Pfizer Booster Shots Now Available
Southeast Georgia Health System Provides Free Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Vaccines
Southeast Georgia Health System has begun administering free Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to a larger segment of the general population as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Health System began administering third dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to a limited group of immunocompromised individuals in August. The Health System will now also provide a third Pfizer shot to those who meet the CDC criteria issued September 24.* Pfizer booster doses are only approved for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago. Qualifying individuals include:
- people age 65 years and older,
- residents in nursing home and long-term care settings,
- people age 18-65 with certain underlying medical conditions, and
- people age 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure because of where they work, such as health care settings, schools and homeless shelters.
“Studies have shown that the vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections decreases over time,” says Michael D. Scherneck, president and CEO, Southeast Georgia Health System. “Giving at-risk individuals the opportunity to receive a third dose will help to keep them safe, especially if our communities experience another transmission surge such as the one we recently suffered.”
According to the Department of Public Health website, 47% of Glynn County, 36% of Camden County and 38% of McIntosh County are fully vaccinated. The percentages are even lower for Brantley (23%) and Charlton (21%). On Tuesday, September 28, the Health System was treating 42 positive COVID-19 inpatients on its Brunswick Campus and 5 on its Camden Campus; only 4 of the 47 inpatients were vaccinated. At the peak of the recent surge, the Health System reported a total of 168 positive COVID-19 inpatients.
“We will continue to offer first and second dose Pfizer vaccines to everyone age 12 and older, as well as first and second Moderna doses to those age 18 and older,” says Adam Brown, CMPE, director, Physician Practices, Southeast Georgia Physician Associates. “Those who qualify for the Pfizer third dose should bring their vaccine card indicating that the second dose was given at least six months ago.”
Currently, Moderna third doses require a physician’s note documenting that the individual (18 years and older) has an immunocompromised condition. “We are very hopeful that Moderna will soon receive FDA and CDC approval for third doses,” says Scherneck. “Until that time, individuals must bring documentation from their physician stating that they meet the CDC criteria for immunocompromised conditions.”
Individuals must receive the same vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna, for each dose. Appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure vaccine availability and can be scheduled by visiting sghs.org/covid19-vaccine. The schedule is as follows:
- Brunswick Campus: Tuesdays, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and Thursdays, 4-6 p.m.
- Camden PSA Recreation Center, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland: Mondays, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
*Full details of the CDC criteria can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html
About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, three immediate care centers, five family medicine centers and numerous employed physician practices. The Health System has multiple outpatient specialty care centers, including the only CyberKnife® M6 Program in Georgia, and a Cancer Care Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.