COVID-19 booster shots not yet available locally; Hold phone calls

Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care Allamakee County Public Health Office is receiving numerous phone calls requesting a booster, or third dose, of the COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health is requesting everyone hold their calls since it is not yet available here locally.

This third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is still subject to authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendation by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The FDA is conducting an independent evaluation to determine the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the COVID vaccine. The ACIP will decide whether to issue a booster dose recommendation based on a thorough review of the evidence.

If both entities agree to pursue a booster dose, the goal will be to first vaccinate those who were the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which is the same audience as those who are most at risk. This includes health care providers, residents of long-term care facilities and other older adults.

It is hoped the vaccine will be available this fall for those individuals who received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine eight months or more ago. Allamakee County Public Health will announce when the dose is available and the order in which it will be given.

Until that time, there is plenty of first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine available for those in the area that have not yet been vaccinated. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the best way to protect oneself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 can have serious, life threatening complications and there is no way to know how it will affect anyone. The COVID-19 vaccine, which is readily available locally, creates an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.

Allamakee County Public Health does have a good supply of vaccine and is highly encouraging everyone to receive it. Vaccine clinics are readily available every Friday afternoon for both prime and second doses for Moderna and Pfizer. Pfizer can be used for people age 12 and older. These clinics are held at the main entrance to Veterans Memorial Hospital. Call 563-568-5660 to schedule an appointment.

Both Hartig Drug and Nightingale Pharmacy in Waukon also have vaccine available for ages 12 and older. Parental or guardian consent is required. Call to schedule an appointment.

Watch the Veterans Memorial Hospital website at and the Veterans Memorial Hospital Facebook page for upcoming clinic details.