Brookings area woman says finding COVID-19 vaccine booster more difficult than should be

Coronavirus

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — In about a month, booster shots will become available for all Americans who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The CDC says you should get the booster eight months after your second dose. U.S. health officials say it is “very clear” the vaccines’ protection against infections wanes over time.

In the meantime, those who are immunocompromised are urged to get a third shot now.
But, for one woman finding a booster proved to.

Once the CDC recommendation came out, Marlys Bohn, who is immunocompromised, decided to get her booster shot. She thought she would just go back to the clinic in Clear Lake where she got her first two doses of Moderna.

“They were no longer handling Moderna which I had used initially and they also had no plan in place for administering booster shots,” said Bohn.

They suggested Marlys, a registered nurse and a professor, get on the phone and search for another source, so she did. After a half dozen phone calls to clinics in Canby, Brookings and Sioux Falls Marlys finally found a pharmacy willing to give her a dose of the Moderna Vaccine.

“Well it was frustrating because it sounded like it would be easy, it’s been talked about for a long time and I would have thought a plan would have been prepared and put in place but it wasn’t and it’s not,” said Bohn.

Marlys belongs to an Immunodeficient group on Facebook and a number of members say they were being turned away when they asked for a booster shot, so some are pretending to get their first shot, when it is actually their third.

As someone with a Ph.D. who takes research seriously, this doesn’t sit well with Bohn.

“That throws off the data that’s being kept as far as how many people have had their first shot,” said Bohn.

According to the CDC people who are immunocompromised should get a third shot, waiting at least 28 days after their second shot of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

If someone forgot which vaccine they got the first time, the CDC says it is ok to get either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine for their booster.

We reached out to Sanford and Avera to see where they are on booster shots.

Sanford sent us a statement saying they now have booster shots available for those who are moderate to severely immunocompromised.

“Sanford Health has booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine widely available at its primary care, acute care clinics, and select specialty care clinics. The booster dose is available for moderately to severely immunocompromised people as laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those who meet the requirements put out by the CDC are welcome to walk into one of our primary care and acute care clinics or make an appointment with their Sanford Health provider.” – Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, chief physician at Sanford Health

Avera says their clinics are working with patients on an individual basis to schedule booster doses.

“Avera clinics are working with patients on an individual basis to determine eligibility and schedule booster doses as soon as they are able. Our goal is to help eligible patients receive the booster as soon as possible – or they can visit vaccine.gov for additional options.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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