DETROIT - Following approval from the federal government and encouragement from the city, Detroit residents who have preconditions or are immunocompromised can now secure a third COVID-19 vaccine shot.
The booster dose is long believed to bolster immunity against the coronavirus and remains a likely future step that will be recommended to all Americans. There are already reports that the Food and Drug Administration will be greenlighting the shot soon.
But for now, those with compromised immune systems or risk worse health outcomes if they still managed to get infected are now eligible for a third shot in Detroit.
Mayor Mike Duggan and public health officer Denise Fair both gave their blessing on Monday, speaking at a press conference where they warned Michigan and Detroit are in for a rough fall and winter without higher immunity rates.
Currently, Detroit has only vaccinated 42% of its population - not enough to rest easy.
Both the city isn't waiting to start offering available third doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine recipients. Here's how to get the shot.
Detroit residents that have compromised immune systems can get the 3rd dose, however, the city doesn't plan to police who shows up for the third vaccine. "You know what your situation with your immune system is," Duggan said on Monday.
Examples of those who might have compromised immune systems include:
- Those with organ transplants
- Those with diseases affecting the immune system
- Those taking medications affecting the immune system
- Others with compromised immune systems
Where to get the shot
The TCF Center will operate as it did months ago when vaccines and COVID-19 tests were first being administered.
How to set up an appointment
The number that was used months ago is still in operation. Residents should call 313-230-0505 to make an appointment.
What shot will I get?
Whichever vaccine type that someone received, whether it's Pfizer or Moderna, will receive the same shot.
While the government believes their effectiveness and use could be interchangeable, officials still plan to offer the same shot from the respective vaccine.
However, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine has yet to receive emergency approval for a booster shot and recipients are not eligible for one of the other vaccines as a result.
Why do I need a booster shot?
The vast majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 or suffering severe health outcomes from an infection are those that never got the vaccine. However, there are breakthrough cases where someone who has already completed their vaccine series can still end up in the hospital.
Most of these individuals are those with compromised immune systems.
While both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines offer strong protection from getting infected, that immunity starts to wane over time. Officials are still determining when that time is, but it looks like eight months is one of the candidates.
A booster vaccine would double down on protection.
It should be noted even as the vaccine's antibody presence declines and people already vaccinated become more vulnerable to infection, the vaccines appear to still offer the same level of protection against the worst health effects from infection.