What to know about getting a booster shot in the DMV

The CDC director is admitting confusion surrounding the booster shots. Who’s eligible? How soon can you get yours? Can you get one even if you’re not in the recommended groups? FOX 5’s Sierra Fox got those answers for you.

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In DC, Virginia, and Maryland, authorities are allowing people to self-report their eligibility to get the vaccine. Anyone can technically just show up, say they want the third dose and get it without any questions. However, authorities are hoping people are truthful about which group they fall under calling it the honor system.

Dr. Amesh Adalja who is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Health Security believes that is an efficient way to go about it in order to get more shots in arms.

"I think having people attest if they need a booster is I think going to be the easiest way to get boosters into the people that actually need them," said Adalja.

At this time, the booster shots are limited to people who got the Pfizer vaccine (must wait six months after the second dose), the population that is 65 years of age and older, people with underlying health conditions, and those who are at higher risk of contracting the virus due to their professions, like healthcare workers and teachers.

"This is something that’s a little bit controversial because in this case, it’s not the booster trying to prevent severe disease or hospitalization because these individuals are at very low risk of that happening, but more so about work resiliency and I think there’s a lot of debate going on about that four recommendation," said Adalja.

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He adds while the booster shot is an important development, it is not the main thing that is going to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror.

"We still have over 1,000 deaths occurring in the United States, we still worry about hospital capacity and that’s primarily because not enough people in this country have decided to get vaccinated and they’re being faced with a more contagious variant – the Delta variant," said Dr. Adalja.

Doctors recommend people don’t mix-and-match meaning don’t get a different vaccine than the one you initially got. Moderna just submitted data to the FDA for their booster vaccination so it should be available in a couple of weeks and Johnson & Johnson is right behind them. Officials say be patient and wait your turn.