PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The CDC says people 65 and over and those 18 and up with underlying health conditions should get the booster six months after their second dose. Up to 20 million Americans are eligible but there's still a lot of questions surrounding Friday's announcement. This recommendation is only for those who have received the Pfizer vaccine. "In a pandemic, we often take steps to do the greatest good, even in an uncertain environment and that is what I'm doing with these recommendations," said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky.

Arizona health officials say this is just another step in the right direction to combating COVID-19. "We believe this is progress. It's extremely exciting to see a message around the need for COVID-19 booster doses," said Raymond Embry, CEO of Embry Health.

This morning's announcement was detailed. They encourage those who are:

  • Ages 65 and older
  • All who live in a long-term care facility
  • Those ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions
  • Those ages 18-64 in high-risk professional and institutional settings
  • Everyone over the age of 18 with underlying medical conditions

Local health officials agree with this recommendation. "These recommendations really are about making sure that people who are most in need of additional vaccination can go out and get it but not really about limiting who gets it," said Jessica Rigler of Arizona Department of Health Services.

And, going out to get it will most-likely be different from how many received their first shot. "We have over 1,000 providers in the state that are able to give the vaccine," Rigler added. "We will not be standing up any kinds of state pods or state vaccination sites at this time."

Greater than 90% of Arizonans live within 5 miles of a site that offers a COVID-19 vaccine. For those who live in a more rural area and are part of that other 10%, AZDHS encourages you to call their hotline or visit your community health center.

And while you're at it, the health department suggests just one more thing. "Now is also a great time to consider going out and getting your flu shot. You can actually get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID shot or your COVID booster," said Rigler.

As for boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, those decisions are still being made. Arizona Department of Health Services says most COVID-19 hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated. Arizona Department of Health Services says most COVID-19 hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccine

Greater than 90% of Arizonans live within 5 miles of a site that offers a COVID-19 vaccine. 

To find your nearest vaccination site, click here. To see the official CDC announcement, click here.


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