AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the city of Amarillo’s public health department recently commented on the delivery of the new, bi-valent, COVID-19 booster vaccines.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the department, located at 850 Martin Rd., announced the delivery of these new shots earlier this month, saying that they both have the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the updated shots from Pfizer for those ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for those ages 18 years and older.
According to previous reports, the CDC’s recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines are the following:
- Those ages 6 months through 4 years should get all COVID-19 primary series doses;
- Those ages 5 years and older should get all primary series doses, and the booster dose recommended for them by CDC, if eligible;
- Those ages 5 years to 11 years are currently recommended to get the original (monovalent) booster;
- Those ages 12 years and older are recommended to receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent) booster. This includes people who have received all primary series doses and people who have previously received one or more original (monovalent) boosters;
- Those ages 12 years to 17 years can only receive the updated Pfizer bivalent booster.
Casie Stoughton, the city of Amarillo’s public health director, said the new bi-valent booster vaccines offer two strains of protection against COVID-19, including the original COVID-19 strain and the Omicron strain. The department has 500 doses of each of the vaccines, but Stoughton stressed they have the ability to order more if they need it, depending on how much demand there is for the booster.
“We’ve had a lot of interest and so, we’ll certainly keep an eye on that and keep an eye on our supply,” she said. “We don’t want to over-order just because we certainly want to keep that balance but we want to make sure that we have a good supply for patients who come in.”
Stoughton said the booster is available for anyone who received their last vaccine at least two months ago. When it comes to the booster shot, individuals are able to get either Moderna or Pfizer, no matter what vaccine an individual received in their initial series. Stoughton also said that for most people, getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same time is okay, especially with the department recommending both vaccines.
“The boosters that we had in the past really had just that old, the original virus. Now that we have both the original virus and Omicron in the same vaccine is really incredible,” she said. “It’s an insurance policy that you’re really purchasing. It doesn’t say that you’ll never get the virus or that you’ll never be infected. But, what you’re purchasing is that insurance against severe illness, hospitalization or death. Really, that’s kind of the insurance that we want. That’s the insurance that I know that I want and that’s insurance I want for my kiddos.”
Stoughton is hopeful that the booster will help continue decreasing COVID-19 numbers throughout Potter and Randall counties, with the goal ultimately being for both counties to remain green in the CDC’s COVID-19 community level chart.
“Every time we can slow transmission, every time that we prevent an infection, it gives the virus less of an opportunity to mutate to that next variant and we don’t know what the next variant will do,” Stoughton said. “So, we want to slow that down and give the virus less of an opportunity to mutate to the next variant.”
According to previous reports, the public health department is offering the COVID-19 booster, along with the first and second doses of the vaccine, at the following times:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday;
- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Individuals are able to call 806-378-3095 to schedule a free ride to the department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic, according to previous reports. The department has scheduled the following mobile clinics throughout the city at the following events:
- Sept. 15
- Walk for Mental Health at 5 p.m.
- Sept. 20
- Advocacy and Resource Center’s 11th Annual Resource Fair at 9 a.m.
- Sept. 24
- Stamp Out Stigma at 10 a.m.;
- Festival de La Cultura at 5 p.m.
- Sept. 25
- High Plains Quinceanera Show at 12 p.m.
- Sept. 29
- Senior Ambassadors Coalition Fall Festival at 9 a.m.
- Oct. 1
- Andrea’s Project Awareness Event at 10 a.m.
- Oct. 15
- Walk for Mental Health at 3 p.m.
For more information on clinics, visit the Amarillo Alerts website. To schedule a public health mobile vaccination clinic, individuals are asked to call 806-378-6560.