Nov 17, 2021 - COVID

Nothing is stopping Columbus residents from getting a COVID booster

Illustration of a syringe bent into the shape of a number three

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Biden administration could begin expanding COVID-19 booster shot authorization to all adults as early as this week.

  • State of play: Technically, nothing is stopping Ohio adults from getting boosters now, as providers aren't requiring proof of eligibility.

Why it matters: CDC guidance says those eligible include people 65 and older, individuals with certain health conditions, and those who live in long-term care facilities or work specific high-risk jobs.

  • The goal is to ensure the most vulnerable get access first.

Yes, but: In several places, health officials have already recommended boosters for everybody because of abundant supplies.

Zoom in: The Ohio Department of Health still recommends providers follow CDC guidance, spokesperson Alicia Shoults tells Axios.

  • Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health are — but they're not requiring proof, spokespeople confirmed.

What they're saying: "If a person self-certifies that they have an underlying condition that requires immunization, they've pretty much been given the shot," Ernie Boyd, executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association, tells Axios.

  • Pharmacists have administered 70% of Ohio's COVID vaccines.

Of note: You can get a booster six months after a second Moderna or Pfizer dose or two months after a J&J dose. It's OK to mix shots.

Our take: Anecdotally, we know Ohioans who have easily obtained a booster, but don't technically meet federal eligibility standards. We're not here to judge if it's right or wrong. But it's happening.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Columbus.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Columbus stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more