APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)-Walgreens, CVS, and Meijer are now administering a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for those with weakened immune systems.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amended its emergency use authorization allowing for a third shot late last week opening the door for the pharmacies to begin administering the shot.
“Walgreens is committed to administering COVID-19 vaccines to our most vulnerable populations as quickly and safely as possible,” says Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Kevin Ban. “As one of the first companies to begin providing these vaccines, we have an experienced team of pharmacists and technicians, as well as the infrastructure to support the increased demand for these vaccines.”
The third dose of the vaccine is designed for those who need extra protection such as people who have had cancer, organ transplants, or HIV/AIDS. It’s for people who have already received the Pfizer or Moderna series.
“Their white blood cells that produce the antibody aren’t as vigorous and don’t produce as much of a response and that will fade over time,” says Chief Clinical Officer at ThedaCare Dr. Mark Cockley.
CVS officials say to check their website to schedule an appointment and to see if the store in your area is offering shots. You’ll be required to attest that you have one of the ailments that would make a person eligible for the third dose.
Starting Monday, same-day appointments on a walk-in basis are available at select Walgreens stores. Patients will have to attest on their eligibility for the vaccine.
If you are eligible for a third shot, but your preference is to get it at a local health department rather than at CVS or Walgreens you may have to wait a little bit longer.
Local health departments can’t begin administering the third dose of the vaccine until Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services approves it and sends guidance on how to administer it.
In order to receive and administer COVID-19 vaccines, local health departments have to become a registered Wisconsin COVID-19 vaccine program provider. Under this agreement, providers are only authorized to vaccinate individuals according to the eligibility guidelines set in the current emergency use authorizations for each of the available COVID 19 vaccines.
Local Five news reached out to several health departments in Northeast Wisconsin for this report. Most of them, were hesitant to comment before DHS guidance came out. Outagamie and Calumet County health officials provided insight into how the approval process worked on the local level.
Local Five asked Walgreens and CVS why they don’t wait for state guidance before administering the third dose and haven’t received an answer back.
Local health officials Local Five talked to in Outagamie County say it’s important to talk with your medical provider if you have any questions about getting a third dose of the vaccine.
Doctors in Northeast Wisconsin say it’s important to get vaccinated.
“It’s important for everyone to get the vaccine and if you look at the numbers of what is happening over time for people it significantly helps reduce your risk of severe disease or death,” says Dr. Cockley.