Embracing Aging eats healthy

Carolyn Miller and Dora Earl dish up a healthy lunch at a recent Embracing Aging Chaffee “Eating for Longevity” event, aimed at helping seniors live healthier lives. Participants at the event, held at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, learned about the importance of a balanced diet.

Chaffee County Public Health announced Monday it is scheduling appointments for mass clinics for administering free COVID-19 Pfizer booster shots to those who are eligible.

The clinics, available by appointment only, will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 4, 5, 18 and 19 at Chaffee County Fairgrounds, 10165 CR 120, a press release stated.

Clinic appointment links are live and posted at www.chaffeecounty.rsvpify.com. Anyone who needs assistance with making an appointment through the scheduler can call the health department’s main office at 719-539-4510 or seek help from a community service provider, family member or friend.

Public Health officials ask people to fill out their paperwork in advance and go to the clinic at their assigned time to mitigate traffic concerns. There is no reason to arrive early, as there is an ample vaccine supply, unlike the early days of the vaccine rollout.

The clinics are intended and prioritized for residents of Chaffee County and surrounding counties who meet the recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s.

The following are approved for the Pfizer booster:

• People ages 65 and older and residents in long-term care settings who received their Pfizer vaccine primary series at least six months previously.

• People ages 50-64 with certain underlying medical conditions who received their Pfizer vaccine primary series at least six months previously.

• People ages 18-49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions and who received their Pfizer vaccine primary series at least six months previously.

• People ages 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting and who received their Pfizer vaccine primary series at least six months previously. This includes but is not limited to teachers, factory workers, retail workers, restaurant workers, health care workers and first responders.

Colorado had previously defined prioritization phases with special considerations for those who may be at increased risk of COVID-19 due to where they work or live. While providers may reference these categories, no person should be turned away from receiving a Pfizer booster if they self-attest to being at increased risk due to where they work or live, the release stated.

Items of note

about Boosters

• Individuals still do not need to present an ID, insurance or proof of medical history to receive a booster. Boosters are still free and people do not need to be a resident of Colorado or of a particular county to receive a booster.

• Individuals can self-attest (i.e. self-report that they are eligible) and receive a Pfizer booster shot wherever Pfizer vaccines are offered.

• The Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorization only applies to the populations identified above who received the Pfizer vaccine as their primary series.

People in the recommended age groups who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine will likely need a booster shot, and more data on the effectiveness and safety of these booster shots are expected in the coming weeks.

• As previously recommended, moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who are eligible for an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine should get that dose at least 28 days after the completion of their primary series.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals are not recommended for a fourth dose at this time. CDC recommends nobody receive more than three valid mRNA vaccine doses.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that the additional dose be the same mRNA vaccine that people received for their primary series, but receiving either mRNA vaccine is acceptable.

People ages 12-17 who are moderately to severely immunocompromised can only receive the Pfizer vaccine for their additional dose.

• The definition of “fully vaccinated” does not change with this booster dose authorization. People are still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after their single dose of J&J/Janssen vaccine.

The medical conditions included in the booster rollout can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.

At this time, there no booster is approved or available for those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. However, health officials report all three vaccines are still providing significant protection and immunity from COVID-19. Those who have been fully

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