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Northland providers prepared to offer COVID-19 booster doses

Following the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several Northland vaccine providers will have Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses available to certain eligible populations, including people age 65 and older, residents at long-term care facilities and some individuals with increased risk or underlying health conditions.

Picture illustration of a vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine
A vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Several Northland vaccine providers have announced booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available, following the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

St. Luke's, Essentia Health and CVS Pharmacy will have doses of the Pfizer vaccine booster available, the providers announced Friday. People age 65 and older and residents of long-term care facilities have been recommended by the CDC to receive a booster at least six months after completing the initial two-dose series. People age 50-64 with underlying medical conditions are also recommended to receive a booster dose of Pfizer.

People age 18-49 with underlying medical conditions and people age 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting also may receive a booster dose at least six months after completing the initial two-dose series, the CDC advised.

The recommendation only applies to the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine at this time.

St. Luke's

St. Luke's will begin administering Pfizer booster doses by appointment next week at the Duluth St. Luke's COVID-19 Clinic, 915 E. First Street. Appointments are now available to schedule online at the St. Luke's myCare patient portal or by calling the vaccine clinic at 218-249-4200.

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Once at their appointment, patients will be required to attest to the fact that they meet the criteria and are eligible to receive a booster dose. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are also available for initial vaccination doses at the St. Luke's clinic.

Essentia Health

By Wednesday, Sept. 29, anyone can schedule a Pfizer vaccine booster appointment via the Essentia MyChart patient portal or by calling 833-494-0836. Essentia Health pharmacies also will offer vaccination booster opportunities. Initial COVID-19 vaccinations are also available.

CVS Pharmacy

Two Duluth CVS pharmacies are among those offering vaccine booster doses. CVS strongly encourages appointments, which can be made at CVS.com. When scheduling, patients will be asked to provide the manufacturer and date of their last COVID-19 vaccine and will be able to schedule an appointment for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose if they have had two previous doses with the same vaccine at least six months prior.

Patients will be asked to self-attest to their eligibility as defined by the eligibility guidelines, to help reduce barriers to access for these select populations, CVS stated in a news release.

Boosters are now available at the CVS located at 4528 Grand Ave. in Duluth and the CVS inside the Duluth Target, at 1902 Miller Trunk Highway.

Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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