Editor's note: APH has updated their information to state that it has seen a 144% increase in booster shots.
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Nov. 19 move to authorize all adults to receive boosters, Austin Public Health has seen an uptick in individuals seeking the shot.
APH administered 144% more booster shots over the weekend of Nov. 20-21, then it did over the previous week. Over the weekend, APH administered 816 doses.
APH locations are offering doses of all three vaccines. Several area pharmacies and other clinics are also providing booster shots.
“As we are learning more about the vaccines, we know it is important for individuals to get a booster to help stay protected against COVID-19,” said Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, in a press release. “With the latest changes, it's recommended that anyone 18 and older get their booster when eligible. This is a critical step in ensuring we prevent future surges of COVID-19 cases.”
APH’s press release said studies have shown the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases over time and requires booster doses to help maintain maximum effectiveness. The decrease is the most concerning for elderly individuals in long-term care facilities, adults with underlying medical conditions and those living or working in high-risk settings.
All individuals are eligible for the booster. Those who received either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine are eligible six months after their second regular shot. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot are eligible for a booster after two months.
Individuals can choose to receive a booster from a different manufacturer than their original shot, according to APH.
“Expanding booster access is an important step to ensure everyone can stay protected and healthy,” said Adrienne Sturrup, APH Interim Director, in the press release. “We cannot get complacent—we must continue to work together to protect our families and loved ones by getting our booster shots.”