Johnson County at good capacity for COVID-19 booster shots

Johnson County Public Health Community Health Manager Sam Jarvis told the John County Supervisors that COVID-19 booster shots are ready on Wednesday. He recommended booster shots following CDC approval for the third dose for individuals 18-years and older.


Jeff Sigmund

A Johnson County Board of Supervisors informal meeting is held in the Johnson County Administration building on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

Cooper Worth, News Reporter

Certain Johnson County residents are eligible for booster shots after the shots gained approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a larger swath of Americans who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Sam Jarvis, Johnson County Public Health community health manager, told the Johnson County Board of Supervisors Wednesday that he currently believes there is a good quantity of booster shots available. Johnson County public health officials recommend booster doses to eligible residents 18 and over.

“We’re actually in the process of checking in with one of our providers now to make sure that they have all their needs met so they can continue on,” he said.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky approved booster shots for the elderly, people with underlying health conditions, and people whose jobs make them susceptible to COVID-19, like teachers or health care workers on Sept. 24. Walensky’s recommendation went beyond the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation, which did not approve the shots for people in high-risk occupations.

Booster doses are only approved for individuals who were given the Pfizer vaccine dosage in their first round of vaccination, Jarvis said. Boosters are to be administered six months after a person’s initial series of shots.

Jarvis said the criteria for underlying medical conditions have not changed since initial vaccine planning. Jarvis said these conditions cover a big portion of the population.

“Conditions like obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, kidney disease, [and] other things like that, so quite a few folks in this category as well,” he said.

Jarvis said his team is waiting on testing from CDC on further recommendations for those not vaccinated with Pfizer. The CDC said it’s continuing to monitor the two other FDA-approved vaccines, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna shots in their statement regarding booster approval.

Jarvis said most health care facilities in the area are currently offering booster shots.

“At this point in time, we know that most of our medical providers are offering at their clinics, not all at the moment, but I believe Mercy has a clinic, UIHC has several locations and then HyVee and most of our local pharmacies are offering boosters,” he said. “While boosters are important, our primary goal is to still get those who are unvaccinated vaccinated.”