PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – The Oregon Health Authority announced on Thursday that it is ready to make booster shots available to people who are eligible to receive one.

This depends on the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approving the federal recommendation to make booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine available to seniors and people in high-risk categories.

While Oregon currently has an adequate supply of Pfizer vaccines, state health officials cautioned that provider capacity could mean that booster shots may not be available on-demand in some communities.

The recommended Pfizer booster maintains the Pfizer vaccine’s long-term effectiveness, especially for older adults.

On Thursday, a panel of medical and public health experts convened by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for people aged 65 and older, as well as residents of long-term care facilities and people 18 and older who have certain underlying conditions – all of whom had received their second dose of the vaccine at least 6 months ago.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup convenes Thursday to consider the federal recommendations.

People who are immunocompromised, and were vaccinated at least one month ago, currently qualify for a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, based on previous recommendations approved by federal and Western States medical experts.

According to the CDC’s panel, people who are recommended to receive a Pfizer booster are:

State health officials estimate the population of Oregonians who are potentially eligible for a Pfizer booster could exceed 230,000 people, with more becoming eligible as they reach the 6-month threshold since they completed their vaccination series.

Across Oregon, vaccination sites currently have approximately 460,000 Pfizer doses in stock.

This announcement from the OHA comes as hospitalizations went down for the day. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 885, which is 54 fewer than Wednesday. There are 263 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is seven fewer than the previous day.

Oregon Health Authority prepared to provide COVID booster shots to eligible people

Image: KPTV

There are 56 available adult ICU beds out of 642 total (9% availability) and 381 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,234 (9% availability).

There are 12 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,661.

OHA reported 1,836 new cases of COVID, bringing the state total to 318,914.

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