The Purchase District Health Department will begin administering Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines booster shots Monday. These vaccinations are free to insured and uninsured patients.
Booster shots are meant to help a patient’s protection to COVID-19, as some studies have shown a decrease in the level of protection from the virus over time. According to the CDC, everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose J&J shot.
Those eligible for J&J boosters, according to the CDC, include people 18 years and older. The CDC recommended J&J booster shots to be administered at least two months after receiving the first shot.
For Moderna, the CDC considers people older than 65 to get a booster shot, as well as people 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings, who work or live in high-risk settings or who have underlying medical conditions. Some of these settings include health care facilities, schools, correctional facilities and homeless shelters. A booster dose should be administered at least six months after full vaccination, which kicks in two weeks after receiving the second Moderna shot.
Patients who are immunocompromised can receive an additional third vaccine dose of Moderna. The CDC classifies additional doses as separate from booster shots. For immunocompromised patients, including those receiving active cancer treatment and other conditions, an additional dose of Moderna can be administered at least 28 days after full vaccination. This additional dose helps these patients build a stronger immunity to COVID-19 that some patients may not have achieved with only two doses, according to the CDC.
PDHD recommends patients receive the same vaccine as they received initially, but mixing and matching vaccines is allowed under CDC recommendations.
The schedule for vaccine shots will vary at the McCracken County location at 916 Kentucky Ave. in Paducah. PDHD recommends checking its website, purchasehealth.org, for the most up-to-date schedule.
When vaccines are administered at McCracken County’s drive up location behind the PDHD building on Kentucky Avenue, no appointment is necessary. Appointments are preferred when vaccines are scheduled to be administered inside the building.
PDHD expects wait times for drive up vaccinations and for patients inside the clinic without an appointment. Call volume is also expected to be high, and PDHD asks for patience from callers.
For the week of Nov. 1, vaccines will be administered at the McCracken County location every day of the week. Monday through Wednesday, vaccines will be available at the drive up location from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Thursday, vaccines will be administered inside the clinic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and patients are recommended to call 270-444-9625 for appointments on this day. On Friday, vaccine administration will return to the drive up location from 8 to 10 a.m.
A calendar listing which days the McCracken County location is offering vaccines, as well as listing whether the vaccines will be administered at the drive up location or inside the clinic, is available online at purchasehealth.org.
For vaccines at the Ballard County, Carlisle County and Hickman County locations, appointments are required, and patients should call those locations to schedule one. On Nov. 9, the Hickman County location will offer vaccines at its drive up location, no appointment necessary. Appointments are preferred to receive a vaccine at the Fulton County location, which is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Free COVID-19 testing is still available at PDHD for those ages 12 and older at the McCracken County drive up location. PDHD asks that patients not go inside the clinic for testing or results, and a representative will call the patient with test results.
Free testing will be offered on these dates at other PDHD locations throughout the month: Fulton City Health Center on Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Hickman County Health Center on Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and Ballard County Health Center on Nov. 16 and Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
PDHD locations will be closed on Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day, and on Nov. 25 and 26 for Thanksgiving.