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COVID-19 Booster Shots Available at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System

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Starting immediately, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System will offer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine boosters under Emergency Use Authorization.

This decision follows the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation for a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • People aged 50 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • People aged 18 to 49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risk.
  • People aged 18 to 64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

“The safety and care of Veterans is our top priority, as well as ensuring the health and welfare of our staff,” said Ralph H. Johnson VAHCS Director and CEO Scott Isaacks.  “We remain deeply dedicated to doing our part to end this pandemic and we know that vaccinating as many eligible individuals as possible is the best way we can help our Veterans, our employees, and our community.”

Veterans who are eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot can call 843-789-6500 to schedule an appointment at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston or at one of its community outpatient clinics in Hinesville and Savannah, Georgia, and in North Charleston, Goose Creek, Beaufort and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The CDC and FDA recommends that booster shots be of the same type and manufacturer as your initial mRNA vaccine series. This means that individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.  VA will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccines to Veterans receiving care at VA and VA employees, and all other Veterans, spouses, caregivers and CHAMPVA recipients under the authority of the SAVE LIVES Act, as supply and capacity permits.

CDC advises that people can get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. Veterans receiving care within the Ralph H. Johnson VAHCS who wish to get a booster shot can get both shots together during the same visit.

Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorized as a booster shot. FDA and CDC continue to review data to determine whether and when a booster might be recommended for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine(s). VA will plan to offer boosters of these vaccines if authorized and recommended.

The Ralph H. Johnson VACHS also continues to offer the initial COVID-19 vaccination series to those Veterans who have not yet been vaccinated.  Veterans who would like to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination can call 843-789-6500.  Vaccinations are offered at the main hospital and community clinics. Visit the Ralph H. Johnson VAHCS COVID-19 vaccination webpage for more information.

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