The Tooele County Health Department is now offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for high-risk individuals and those who work in a community setting.
“We began accepting people [Monday] today for appointments,” said Amy Bate, public health officer at the Health Department. “We are offering Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson for those 65 and older, immunocompromised, high-risk, people that are in healthcare settings or high-risk environments, which could even be people who work in a grocery store setting.”
The booster doses are available for those listed above 18 and older who had their second Moderna or Pfizer shot six months or more ago, and for those who had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two or more months ago.
Health Department officials are encouraging those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the first time to get either a Moderna or Pfizer booster to help boost their immunity.
“J&J is not a MRNA vaccine, where Pfizer and Moderna are and they fight in different ways,” Bate explained. “It will give them added protection.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is about 65% effective, while Moderna and Pfizer are around 95% effective, according to Bate.
The booster dose of Moderna is half the original dose and the booster for Pfizer is a full dose.
Although walk-ins are available at the Health Department, it is recommended that individuals make an appointment by visiting the Tooele County Health Department’s website at tooelehealth.org.
“We want to thank the people who’ve gotten vaccinated and those who’ve gotten their booster dose,” said Dacota Shell, COVID-19 public information officer and health educator. “They are helping protect our community.”
Bate said that after everyone gets their booster shots, health officials at the Center for Disease Control will test antibody levels in individuals and see if everyone should get their vaccines every six months or once a year, like the flu shot.
Currently around 45% of those in Tooele County are vaccinated, according to Bate.
School-aged children’s vaccination rate stands at about 48%.
On Oct. 21, the Tooele County Health Department released their last COVID-19 situational report. They reported that since the beginning of the pandemic, 11,587 Tooele County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There have also been 414 residents hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 64 COVID-related deaths.
In the State of Utah, there have been 542,531 cases of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, 23,704 hospitalizations, and 3,149 deaths, according to a report by the Utah Department of Health.
1,939,361 individuals in the state have had at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,660,043 people have been tested for the virus.
Testing sites for COVID-19 include, Premier Diagnostics located at 2328 N. 400 East in Tooele, the TestUtah site at Tooele Park and Ride located at 2400 N. 400 East, and Walgreens drive-thru testing located at 188 N. Main Street in Tooele.
For more testing sites and information, please visit coronavirus.utah.