Health department giving booster Moderna shots to immunocompromised

In Kentucky, all residents of long-term care facilities are also eligible to get a Moderna or Pfizer booster shot, the state health commissioner announced.

The Christian County Health Department will begin giving Moderna COVID-19 booster shots on Tuesday, Aug. 24, for people who are immunocompromised. 

Vaccines are administered at the health department, 1700 Canton St., on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:45 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments are not required, and there’s no charge. A booster shot can be given as early as 28 days after the second Moderna shot.

State health officials said Kentuckians with the following conditions are eligible and should consider getting a third dose of Moderna or the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine as a booster:

  • Active or recent treatment for cancer/malignancy
  • Solid-organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplants
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers and other immunosuppressive medications

All long-term care residents considered eligible

In addition, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said on Tuesday that all residents of long-term care facilities in the state will be eligible to receive a booster shot of Moderna or the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

“The CDC and the FDA last week last week changed the recommendations for folks who are immunocompromised,” Stack said during a news conference with Gov. Andy Beshear. “In the commonwealth of the Kentucky, I have determined, with our department, that the Kentucky Department for Public Health will deem every resident of a long-term care facility to be eligible under this criteria.”

Stack said the state’s experience early in the pandemic —  when two-thirds of deaths occurred among long-term care facility residents — demonstrated the need to protect older and more vulnerable residents from the virus. 

Booster vaccines are already underway in some nursing homes, he said. 

Booster not available for recipients of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The local health department administers the two-shot Moderna and one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but a booster is not currently recommended for those who had a Johnson & Johnson shot. 

“If you received Moderna, you will need the Moderna booster,” health department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney-Brunt told Hoptown Chronicle. “If you received Pfizer, you will need the Pfizer booster, but we do not have those here.”

The Hopkinsville Walgreens on Fort Campbell Boulevard at Skyline Drive has administered the Pfizer vaccine in the past, but supplies vary from day to day at many pharmacies. Availability at Walgreens stores can be checked online. There is also a national vaccine search tool that checks numerous chain and independent pharmacies and medical facilities that administer vaccines. 

Health department giving booster Moderna shots to immunocompromised

Jennifer P. Brown

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org.