A Juneau resident receives the booster shot for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Centennial Hall on Oct. 2, 2021. More than 1,300 Juneau residents received booster shots at the clinic. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

A Juneau resident receives the booster shot for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Centennial Hall on Oct. 2, 2021. More than 1,300 Juneau residents received booster shots at the clinic. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

More than 1,300 receive booster shots over weekend

More than 700 doubled down and also got their flu shot for the year.

Juneau’s first COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic saw more than 1,300 Juneau residents get the shot over the weekend.

There were also more than 700 flu vaccines delivered, said Deputy City Manager Robert Barr in an email. By now, Barr said, setting up the clinics is a well-practiced maneuver.

“The same planning team, and largely the same group of volunteers, came back together to do these clinics again,” Barr said. “It’s a well-oiled machine at this point.”

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Boosters shots for the Pfizer vaccine are available to anyone who got the Pfizer vaccine six months or longer ago, and is: 65 or older, or 18 years or older in long-term care settings, underlying medical conditions, or who live or work in a high-risk environment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Demand was somewhat lower than expected, Barr said.

“I chalk this up to the difference between being vaccinated and simply getting a booster. We know being vaccinated offers a good deal of protection and a booster improves upon that,” Barr said. “Getting that protection in the first place confers quite a bit more value – both to the individual and us all as a community – than a booster does.”

The increase in protection from the booster varies from person to person, Barr said, but it’s less than getting the vaccine in the first place.

The offer to get both shot — the vaccine booster and the flu shot — was available for any who wanted, though only a little more than half of those getting the booster opted to get the flu shot as well, Barr said, for a variety of reasons.

“Some people likely had already received their flu shots, others likely have a preference for getting it later in the season,” Barr said. “Some perhaps wanted to only have one sore arm at a time.”

Juneau will hold one more booster clinic beginning Friday and running through Saturday, this Oct. 8-9, City and Borough of Juneau announced. Those eligible for the booster can register at juneau.org/vaccine or by calling 907-586-6000. Applicants should bring their vaccine cards.

This is likely the last major vaccination clinic the city will hold until the Food and Drug Administration approves vaccines for children 12 and younger, Barr said.

He said they’re estimating that approval will be issued in November.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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