Aviva Health in Roseburg this week began offering a third “booster” shot of the Pfizer vaccination against COVID-19.

The Pfizer booster was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 22 under its emergency use authorization. The two-dose Moderna vaccine and single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine against COVID-19 are still being analyzed for full FDA approval instead of emergency use. Once those vaccines receive such approval, boosters are expected to be available for those vaccines as well.

“After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the (emergency use authorization) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “This pandemic is dynamic and evolving, with new data about vaccine safety and effectiveness becoming available every day. As we learn more about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, including the use of a booster dose, we will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing science and keep the public informed.”

The push for a booster — or third dose — of the Pfizer vaccination comes as the delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has caused a nationwide spike in new positive cases and deaths. The booster is the same dosage as the original two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine sequence.

Presently, anyone wishing to receive a Pfizer booster vaccine must be at least six weeks clear of having completed their initial two-dose sequence.

The booster is encouraged for those age 65 or older and living in long-term care facilities and adults ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions which may contribute to a compromised immune system.

Those ages 18-64 are eligible for the booster if they have underlying health conditions or work in an environment prone to viral spread, such as teachers, retail employees, health care workers and those living in congregate care settings.

“COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on the world, Oregon and our community,” Aviva Health vice president of community health Christin Rutledge said in a statement. “Because scientific evidence shows the vaccine remains our best defense against this pandemic, we are offering Pfizer booster shots to eligible individuals and strongly encourage unvaccinated people 12 years of age and older to get vaccinated.”

The Douglas County COVID-19 Recovery Team has reported 20 deaths of county residents due to complications from the coronavirus dating to its report released Friday, Sept. 24. Of those 20, 19 were unvaccinated, with ages ranging from 43 to 95.

Aviva Health has a dedicated COVID-19 vaccination clinic located at 4221 NE Stephens St., Suite 101A in Roseburg, open from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Appointments for vaccination or testing can be made by calling 541-492-2067.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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