MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The CDC expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots last week, but some say the guidance isn’t as clear for those outside of those groups. A Memphis doctor shares his advice for those wondering about the shots.
“There has been some confusion about it because, frankly, there wasn’t 100% agreement about who needed the booster, and there still isn’t 100% agreement about who needs that booster,” said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, infectious disease specialist for Baptist.
The lack of consensus could be why a recent poll from Kaiser shows four in 10 fully vaccinated adults are unsure about whether they are eligible to get a COVID-19 booster dose.
Right now, the CDC says people over 65 and people over 18 who live or work in high-risk places or have underlying medical conditions should get a booster based on their risk level.
Threlkeld says this is especially important for the older age group where immunity may decline over time.
“Older people are clearly going to benefit potentially over a booster,” Threlkeld said. “So those over 65 are all eligible who’ve had the vaccine at least six months ago.”
If you received the Johnson and Johnson shot, you are eligible two months after your shot. For fully vaccinated people that don’t fall into the categories listed by the CDC, doctors say you should still feel confident in the protection your vaccine gives you.
“You’re already protected against severe disease, hospitalization, and death in very good percentages. So it’s not an emergency to take that,” Threlkeld said. “I think Dr. Walensky said it well when she said we want you to walk not run to your booster.”
There are several locations where you can get boosters of all three vaccines, including Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. at the Bloomfield Full Gospel Church on South Parkway. They’re asking you to bring ID and your COVID vaccine card showing your other shots.