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.

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