Booster shots build onto protection of initial vaccinations | UW Medicine

People 65 years and older among those who qualify for shots

Courtesy Photo, UW Medicine

Courtesy Photo, UW Medicine

Booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are available at UW Medicine locations, including Kent, Federal Way, Issaquah and other sites for those who currently qualify.

The CDC recommends booster shots to increase protection for the following:

• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series

• People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series

• People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks

• People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks

UW Medical Center Dr. Seth Cohen says the new round of shots make an excellent vaccine even stronger.

“Giving a [Pfizer vaccine] booster dose is a very, very common strategy, and it’s used in several other highly effective vaccine series,” said Cohen, who is the medical director of infection prevention at UW Medical Center.

He says other approved vaccine boosters bolster protection against infections, from hepatitis B to pneumonia and more.

As for his strategy to dispel lingering hesitancy against the initial series of COVID-19 vaccines, Cohen shares his daily experience with his patients.

“I tell them how much I care about them, and then I describe all of the people with severe COVID that we have in our hospitals right now,” Cohen said. “Some of them are currently pregnant, and many of them are now fighting for their lives. And now that we have experience giving five billion doses of vaccines [internationally], it is time to get vaccinated. There’s really nothing left to wait for.”

Cohen also says it’s safe to receive a flu shot during the same appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.


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