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On Friday, September 17, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met to make a decision on the approval of and criteria for the use of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine as a booster dose. Regardless of its decision, it is expected that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will have an emergency meeting today and tomorrow (Sept. 22-23) to determine the next steps.

Courtesy of CCPH.

With the potential that the country is moving into a fifth wave of COVID-19 (this one fueled by un-vaccinated people) many people who got vaccinated as soon as vaccines were available are understandably anxious.

According to a press release from Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH), vaccination providers participating in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program must adhere to CDC requirements and ACIP recommendations related to COVID-19 vaccination. This includes vaccination prioritization, administration fees, and clinical guidance.

If approved, it is possible that Pfizer providers will be allowed to start administering booster doses to eligible populations only starting in the near future. Those who are eligible must have received their second dose of Pfizer at least six to eight months ago.

But it is yet to be determined, which categories of those who have received the initial vaccines will be the first eligible categories.  CCPH has confirmed that they will do a follow-up press release will be forthcoming after ACIP votes on booster details.

While there are many options to obtain a Pfizer booster shot in Chaffee County and the surrounding area, Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) will be holding several booster clinics, separate from its flu, regular vaccination, and COVID-19 1st and 2nd dose clinics, to assist in this effort.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we experience yet again what is anticipated as a phased approach to COVID-19 vaccinations with the recent news on approval of Pfizer boosters. We are in a different place than we were with the original rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom. “There will be ample places to get a booster as long as someone is eligible. With the advent of the Delta variant, which is more transmissible than previous strains, getting as many people fully vaccinated as possible is the key to protect ourselves and the people we love. If you have been on the fence to get your initial shots and are eligible to get vaccinated, we urge you to make an appointment today.”

Appointments must be made online using CCPH’s RSVPify scheduler (assistance is available). The booster will be free, and paperwork should be filled out ahead of time whenever possible. Due to the success of CCPH’s major mass vaccination program this past winter and spring, the booster clinics will be held at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds, 10165 Co Rd 120, Salida, only by appointment. Dates will be released once the effective date is determined by ACIP this week.

At this time, all clinics will be held from 12:00 to 4:00 p,m. They will distribute the Pfizer vaccine only until there is approval of a Moderna booster.

CCPH has confirmed that there is no need to come early to your booster appointment; in fact not showing up at your scheduled time could create traffic backups. Future clinic dates will be scheduled once the demand is assessed and if additional populations are added to the eligible list. Chaffee County residents are not required to get their booster from the same provider that they received their 1st or 2nd doses from, as there are many more local providers now than at the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. It is possible that only those who received Pfizer for their 1st and 2nd doses will be eligible to receive a Pfizer booster.

CCPH says that it wants the public to know that despite the approval of booster shots, those who have been fully vaccinated still have strong immunity against COVID-19 including the Delta variant. The intent of this rollout is to protect those who are our community’s most vulnerable and highest risk and keep them from serious illness or having to be hospitalized

For those with questions about the booster dose, CCPH encourages you to first review the latest information found on the Chaffee County website,, weekly situational awareness reports, and on social media. E-mail inquiries can be sent to If these resources do not answer your questions, please call 719-539-4510, although it is anticipated the call volume will be high and you may have to leave a voicemail.

Due to the changing dynamics that are occurring in what is now considered the fifth wave of the pandemic, CCPH, along with local healthcare stakeholders, will host a Town Hall at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 28 on Zoom. The recording will be posted on the Chaffee County COVID-19 Facebook page shortly after the event. Questions from the public can be submitted by noon on Monday the 27th to

A recent community-wide survey by  CCPH recently collected feedback on its COVID-19 communication strategies. The results indicate that CCPH’s COVID-19 website, data dashboard, and Facebook page are widely used and found very valuable. CCPH’s weekly situational awareness report is posted on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.