COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community. High vaccination coverage will reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Currently authorized vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) have high effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization and death, but effectiveness against new case infections appears to have declined in recent months. This coincides with the relaxation of public health restrictions such as mask usage and social distancing and the dramatic increase in the prevalence of the Delta variant. Due to the decrease in vaccine efficacy in recent months, booster shots and additional doses are being recommended to increase protection against the virus.

What’s the difference between a booster shot and an additional or third dose?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines require two doses for full effectiveness for most people. For a very small percentage of people (approximately 3% of Ohioans and the U.S. population) who are immunocompromised, a third dose of mRNA vaccine is now recommended. This recommendation applies to people who have a weakened or compromised immune system, such as those who have had an organ transplant. People with weakened immune systems might not develop enough immunity after vaccination with two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, therefore an additional dose might improve their protection against COVID-19. The third dose should be given at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

A booster dose, however, is recommended to address the issue of waning immunity. Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. Therefore, a booster dose is now recommended for certain populations to boost their immunity.

If we need a booster dose, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?

No – COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.

Booster Dose Eligibility and Scheduling

Eligibility: Booster doses can be given to any adult 18 year of age or older who has completed the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose series, or received one dose of Johnson & Johnson. Please see the booster dose timing below for further eligibility requirements.

 

Booster Dose Timing:

  • Pfizer: At least six months following completion of the primary series (two doses spaced at least 21 day apart)

  • Moderna: At least six months following completion of the primary series (two doses spaced at least 28 days apart)

  • Johnson & JohnsonAt least two months following completion of the initial dose

 

Scheduling: Anyone who has not received their booster shot of the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J COVID-19 vaccines can call the Erie County Community Health Center central scheduling at 567-867-5174 to set up an appointment.

*Eligible vaccine recipients may now receive a booster dose of any available COVID-19 vaccine products. The booster dose does not have to match the original dose/series.

For your convenience, you may also receive your annual flu vaccine at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine booster here at the Erie County Health Department/Erie County Community Health Center.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5 to 11

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. The Erie County Health Department and Community Health Center is providing COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11. To schedule an appointment for your child, please call central scheduling at 567-867-5174. A parent or legal guardian MUST accompany the child to their appointment.

First Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling

Erie County Community Health Center: To schedule an appointment at the Erie County Health Department and Community Health Center for your first dose, please call 567-867-5174

Firelands Regional Health System: For more information on scheduling at Firelands Regional Health System, visit Firelands.com/covidvaccine or call 419-557-6555

Use the tool below to search for additional vaccine providers in Erie County. 

 
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