FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are working to rollout Pfizer boosters now that the CDC approved them for certain groups, but their availability depends on where you live.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now said that these groups should get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine:
- adults 65 and older
- adults in a long-term care facility
- adults 50 and older with underlying medical conditions
The CDC says the following groups may get a third Pfizer dose now:
- adults at a higher risk of catching COVID based on where they work (first responders--healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff--education staff, food and agriculture workers, manufacturing workers, corrections workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit workers, grocery store workers)
- adults with underlying medical conditions
D.C. and Maryland leaders made the booster shots available immediately, as they announced in releases Friday.
“In line with our federal partners, state health officials have issued a bulletin directing vaccine providers to immediately make booster shots available to eligible Marylanders who received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago. In addition, we are encouraging providers to conduct outreach to previously vaccinated individuals. If you received your second Pfizer dose at least six months ago, you should strongly consider getting a booster shot," Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement released Friday.
Virginia's vaccination coordinator, however, has yet to release specific administration guidance.
Some people in the Commonwealth have been able to get boosters at pharmacies already, like Elizabeth, who asked that we not include her last name.
“I'm a high-risk teacher, and it was really important to me to get the booster when it was available," she said.
She walked into a Manassas Walgreens Friday, asked if they were offering the Pfizer boosters, and got the shot.
One reddit user, however, was not able to get one in Fairfax County Friday, posting, "Went to the Fairfax Govt Health Center after taking an appointment and they shot me down at the entrance saying that they're only giving out booster shots to immune compromised folks.
The lady said they are waiting for the State and the County Health departments to approve and rollout boosters to the categories that CDC approved earlier today. I wish there was better communication, it was a waste of a 25 min drive, and had to be late for a work meeting. Want to let others know so you don't waste your time."
The Fairfax County government put out a release Friday explaining that they're waiting on specific administration guidance from the state and federal governments before rolling out the boosters.
So, even though you may be able to schedule a third dose appointment online as of Saturday, the health department said you won't be able to receive the third shot yet.
WUSA 9 reached out to the Virginia Department of Health for more details on the rollout timeline and did not hear back in time for air. The site said more guidance will be posted here when it's available.
Per Governor Hogan's announcement, Marylanders are able to sign up now through the state website, which will direct users to county sites based on location.
Some counties, like Anne Arundel, specify third dose appointments, where others like Montgomery County just ask users to pick a provider offering the Pfizer vaccine.
D.C. residents can also schedule an appointment for a booster right now, via the city's website.
“Today I'm feeling a little under the weather… but [I have] no regrets. I'm very happy I got it. It's definitely better than the alternative," Elizabeth said.
The CDC said guidance will continue to evolve for booster administration, including which jobs are considered high risk.