SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has announced that booster appointments for those 12 to 15 years of age can now be scheduled.

This is following the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) approval on January 6.

Aaron Schekorra, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said Friday, “Now more than ever because of the rate of spread in our community, getting a booster shot and getting vaccinated if you aren’t already is more important than it has been up to this point. Getting a booster shot has been shown to increase the amount of protection, help stave off some of the waning immunity over time.”

DHSS approval comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the expansion of booster eligibility earlier this week. 

 Also, approval was granted for moderately to severely immunocompromised 5-11 years to receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second shot. Those who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are eligible for a booster dose 5 months after becoming fully vaccinated.

Booster doses have shown to be extremely effective in preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19. Against the Omicron variant, data reported by the CDC shows that a booster dose prevents 75% of people who become infected with COVID-19 from having a symptomatic infection compared to the 35% of those who received a 2-dose vaccine. 

“We don’t want to accidentally convey the message that it’s too late now to start vaccination because we’re talking about getting the benefits of that third shot, that booster shot, but getting fully vaccinated now if you have not chosen vaccination up until this point is going to significantly reduce the chance of severe illness and really protect you from hospitalization,” Schekorra told OzarksFirst

Vaccination appointments can be made online or by calling COVID-19 Call Center at 417-874-1121.