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COVID-19 vaccine boosters are coming to North Dakota

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The shots may be available as early as next week.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finalized their COVID-19 booster dose recommendations for individuals who have received the Pfizer vaccine.

Molly Howell is immunization program manager with the North Dakota Department of Health. She says the recommendations are as follows:

-People aged 65 and older residing in long-term care facilities

-People aged 50-64 with underlying medical conditions

-People aged 18-49 with underlying medical conditions, and

-People aged 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational settings.

Howell says these recommendations also stipulate that a booster dose be administered at least six months after their first Pfizer series of shots.

She says the Pfizer shots are still very effective, but preliminary research suggests waning immunity.

"You are five times less likely to have COVID-19 if you are vaccinated, and you are ten to twenty times less likely to be hospitalized if you are vaccinated. These vaccines are very effective, but we are starting to see waiting immunity against infection, meaning having symptoms of COVID-19. For our 65 and older population, we're starting to see waning immunity against hospitalization - hence the recommendation that they receive a booster dose."

Howell says booster doses should be available in North Dakota as early as next week.

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