Minnesotans seeking Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots might get them quicker at pharmacies than at large health care systems, state health officials said Friday.
Under recommendations issued Thursday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pfizer boosters are recommended for those 65 and older as well as those 50 to 64 who have underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
Additionally, those 18 to 49 with underlying health conditions and those who work in settings that may expose them to COVID-19 are eligible to get the vaccine.
"Our health systems are rightly prioritizing patient care for COVID and urgent conditions and they are not in a position to stand up large vaccination clinics like they did earlier," she said.
CVS Health and Hy-Vee said they are offering Pfizer booster shots effective immediately.
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are still being studied, but a decision is expected over the next several weeks.
Federal officials also are reviewing data about COVID-19 vaccine doses for children 5 to 11.
"We are still highly confident that we [have] got the infrastructure and vaccine supply to handle that," Malcolm said.
The Pfizer vaccine accounts for 58% of all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Minnesota.
State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said that up to 1â€†million Minnesotans fall within the Pfizer booster eligibility categories, although not all of them received the second dose more than six months ago.