The FDA has authorized the Pfizer and Moderna brands as COVID booster vaccines for people that are moderately to severely immunocompromised.
Initially, Tribal Health patients that are immunocompromised can begin getting booster shots as of today. (See medical qualifications for who is eligible to get the booster shot now).
Tentatively, eligibility of COVID boosters for the general population of patients will start on September 20, 2021, (pending FDA authorization).
At this time, Tribal Health providers are identifying patients who may benefit from the additional COVID booster. If you feel you may qualify, contact your primary provider. Tribal Health currently has the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Walk-in appointments are available at both Tribal Health Pharmacies, from 8-5:30 pm for all COVID vaccinations, including the COVID booster vaccinations.
Please call Tribal Health at 406-745-3525 ext. 5035 for more information.
Below are some common questions that we want to share for our Tribal Health patients.
What is a booster vaccine?
A booster shot/vaccine helps to refresh the immune system for those who may not have had a full response to the initial 2 shots.
Why do some people who are immunocompromised need a booster?
Studies have shown that some people’s immune systems do not fully respond to the COVID-19 vaccine. These people may benefit from a booster dose to make sure they have enough protection.
Who is considered immunocompromised?
People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting a booster dose is appropriate for them. Medical conditions recommended to get the booster include:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
Can I get a booster different from my original series?
It is recommended that you get the same brand (Pfizer or Moderna) of booster as the original vaccines. However, if the original brand is not available, it is okay to receive a different brand.
What if I got the J&J vaccine? Do I still need a booster?
No. At this time, it is not recommended that people who received Johnson and Johnson vaccine get a booster. The FDA did not authorize Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to be given as a booster for those who received this vaccine.
What are the side effects of getting an additional dose?
You can expect some of the same post-vaccination symptoms as the first and second dose of vaccine. The most common reported from the booster vaccine were fatigue and pain at injection site.