Central Valley Health District in Jamestown is preparing to give COVID booster shots with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine six months after the second dose on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Individuals who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines will not be eligible for the booster shot.

“We anticipate those will be coming at some point,” said Robin Iszler, unit administrator at Central Valley Health District. “ … We are waiting for the data to show whether those vaccines need to have a booster.”

The vaccination rates in Stutsman County for individuals 12 and older who have received at least one dose is 56.6% and 52.9% for two doses, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. The vaccination rates in Stutsman County for individuals 65 and older who received at least one dose is 81.6% and 79.1% for two doses.

The booster shot is needed because the amount of antibodies to fight COVID decreases over time, Iszler said.

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“That is why you have a flu shot every year because the antibody protection decreases over time,” she said.

The CDC finalized COVID-19 booster dose recommendations for individuals who previously received the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday, Sept. 23. The CDC authorized booster shots of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for the following people:

  • ages 65 years and older and residents in long-term care facilities.

  • ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.

  • ages 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions based on an assessment of their individual benefits and risks.

  • ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission based on their occupational or institutional settings.

Iszler said Central Valley Health will start giving booster shots to individuals who are 65 and older because they are the first priority on the list who are eligible.

“Other age groups with underlying medical conditions should check with their primary care providers or the pharmacies or check back with us for availability at a later date,” she said.

Iszler said Central Valley Health is working with Essentia Health and Sanford Health as well as pharmacies in the community to see who will have booster shots available. She said individuals should call their health care provider in advance and find out if an appointment is needed.

“We are thinking that … everybody who is a provider of immunizations will have it available in our community,” she said.

Sanford Health will offer Pfizer COVID booster shots beginning Tuesday, Sept. 28, according to Jon Lillejord, director of clinic operations for Sanford Health Jamestown. Individuals can schedule a vaccine appointment at Sanford Health at https://bit.ly/2XQvnoj.

Lillejord said Sanford is giving Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well as flu shots.

Essentia Health will offer Pfizer COVID booster shots beginning Wednesday, Sept. 29, according to an Essentia press release issued on Friday, Sept. 24. Individuals can schedule a vaccine appointment at Essentia Health by calling 833-494-0836 or visiting https://bit.ly/3oayp1V.

Central Valley Health is requesting that individuals bring their COVID-19 vaccination record card that shows the type of vaccine that was received. If individuals received a vaccine in North Dakota, Central Valley Health staff can find the vaccination record in the North Dakota immunization registry.

“If they are not in there, we probably aren’t giving them the shot,” Iszler said. “We prefer that they bring their card or an official record of some sort to verify that they had Pfizer shots.”

Central Valley Health will hold a clinic for flu shots from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at the Jamestown Civic Center and plans on providing Pfizer booster shots to individuals who are 65 and older. Iszler said individuals 18 and older can get flu and COVID shots the same day.

Individuals must preregister for an appointment on Central Valley Health’s website at centralvalleyhealth.org.

Central Valley Health will hold COVID popup vaccination clinics in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 27 at S&R Truck Plaza.

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Stutsman County has 2 new cases of COVID

Stutsman County has two new cases of coronavirus and 53 total active cases, according to information released Monday, Sept. 27, from the North Dakota Department of Health.

Other counties in the Jamestown area with new cases include Barnes, Dickey and Kidder, with one each.

The daily positivity rate in Stutsman County is 5.71%. Stutsman County has reported 82 total deaths related to coronavirus and 4,005 total cases since the pandemic began.

North Dakota has 3,316 total active cases. The daily positivity rate in the state is 13.14%.

There have been 1,604 deaths related to coronavirus in North Dakota since the pandemic began.