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Essentia ready to administer COVID-19 booster shots

Health officials maintain that robust coronavirus mitigation measures are one of the easiest ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the more contagious delta strain. Essentia Health officials believe COVID-19 vaccine booster shots can help.

Essentia Health St. Joseph's Medical Center Spring 2021.jpg
Essentia Health St. Joseph's Medical Center Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Essentia is ready to administer Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to the following populations following recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • People aged 65 and older and residents of long-term care facilities.

  • People aged 50-64 with underlying medical conditions that make them especially susceptible to severe COVID-19.

  • People aged 18-49 with specific medical conditions, based on an assessment of their individual benefits and risks.

  • People in the 18-64 age group who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission based on their occupational or institutional settings.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccines are available under emergency use authorization at least six months after the initial two-dose series. The Johnson & Johnson booster COVID-19 vaccine, meanwhile, is available under emergency use authorization for all individuals age 18 and older, and at least two months after an initial single dose.
The CDC also authorized the use of โ€œmix-and-matchโ€ booster doses. A single booster dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines mentioned above may be administered as a booster following completion of primary vaccination with a different COVID-19 vaccine.

The eligible groups and dosing intervals for mixed booster doses are the same as the vaccine used for primary vaccination. For example, those who received Johnson & Johnson as their primary vaccination may receive a single booster dose of Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech at least two months after their primary vaccination.

People can schedule a vaccine appointment with Essentia through MyChart or by calling 833-494-0836. Essentia Health pharmacies also offer vaccination opportunities. People are asked to bring their vaccination card to their booster dose appointment.

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