NORFOLK, Va. - The CDC is expanding COVID-19 boosters, opening a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine to people as young as age 16.
That announcement came on Thursday, and now the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has given the go-ahead for the administration of those booster doses in the Commonwealth.
The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on August 23. It is approved for people 16 and older.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, the Community Vaccination Center at the former Macy’s department store location at Military Circle Mall is now offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination booster for people ages 16-17.
On November 19, the CDC recommended that all people 18 and older who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccine get a booster dose at least six months after they complete their two-dose primary series. The CDC also recommends anyone 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine receive a booster dose two months after they complete their single-dose primary series.
Boosters are available at a number of venues throughout Virginia including pharmacies, physicians’ offices, Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs), mobile clinics, and other sites as set up by local health districts throughout the state.
“This is great news for the Commonwealth’s efforts to vaccinate as much of the state’s eligible population against COVID-19 as possible,” said State Vaccination Liaison Danny TK Avula, M.D., M.P.H. “Expanding the ranks of those eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose, in particular, adds another 79,508 people to the eligible population, which, in turn, will add to the strength of the line of defense we have against the spread of COVID-19.”
Several vaccination events are being held this weekend.
Celebrate Healthcare will host vaccine clinics and Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment at museums in Hampton Roads to get more families vaccinated. Free admission will be offered to those families being vaccinated. Additionally, flu shots and COVID rapid testing will be offered.
People are also encouraged to renew or enroll in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan or Medicaid while there.
"We know many people have died from COVID that had pre-existing conditions, so any detection of any disease is really good because you can bounce back from that if you catch it early," said Gaylene Kanoyton, President of Celebrate Healthcare.
Here are some of Hampton Roads' upcoming vaccination events:
Sunday, Dec. 12
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
VA Air and Space Center
Sunday, Dec. 19
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Portsmouth Children's Museum
Military Circle Mall clinic:
The vaccine remains FREE and open to those working or living in other jurisdictions including those traveling from other states. The MCM community vaccination center is open 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Appointments for vaccination are strongly encouraged to avoid extended wait times, but walk-ins are welcome. To make an appointment, visit Norfolk/VAB and input "23502" into the zip code search bar to schedule an appointment at the MCM vaccination center, or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). The Norfolk COVID-19 hotline (757) 683-2745 can also assist with general questions or scheduling appointments.