COVID booster shots are available around Kansas City. Here’s how to get yours

·4 min read

Local health departments and pharmacies are now offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to the public after the CDC officially approved the supplemental vaccine doses for all three major kinds of shots: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Booster shots are available to all fully vaccinated adults in both Kansas and Missouri. Here’s how to get one.

Who’s eligible?

Following a recent update to CDC guidelines, all fully vaccinated adults are now eligible for booster shots, regardless of age, health status or living conditions. Previously, federal and state guidelines had recommended that booster shots be given to vaccinated individuals who were over the age of 65, who had underlying medical conditions or who lived or worked in high-risk environments.

Those originally vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna shots are eligible for a booster shot six months after their second dose. Those who received Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine are eligible for a booster shot two months after their original dose. The only adults who do not qualify for booster shots are those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Where can I get a booster shot?

The Kansas City Health Department operates three clinics, all of which are offering booster shots. You can find the addresses and operating hours of KC’s booster shot clinics here. And here’s a list of other vaccination sites around the city. In general, any location administering vaccines is now also administering booster shots. You do not need to get your booster shot at the same clinic where you got your original vaccination.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recently urged residents to get a vaccine or a booster shot ahead of the holiday season. Residents can find clinic locations on the department’s COVID-19 vaccine information page.

Residents of Wyandotte County, Kansas can find vaccine and booster information here.

“The pandemic is not over. Cases are on the rise in Johnson County,” said health department director Sanmi Areola. “This is not the time to let our guard down as we move indoors where the virus can spread easily.”

While many of the clinics on the above lists welcome walk-ins, it may be helpful to call them before visiting. Clinic staff will be able to help you make an appointment if one is needed, advise you on the best times to visit and confirm which vaccines are available at a given location.

What should I bring along?

  • Your original vaccination card

  • Any type of government-issued photo ID

If you don’t have your original vaccination card, you can also provide electronic immunization records from your doctor. You can make a request for these records from the state of Missouri by filling out this form and emailing it to ImmunizationRecordRequests@health.mo.gov.

Which vaccine should I get?

It isn’t necessary to get a booster shot of the same vaccine you have already received. CDC recommendations now allow for a “mix and match” approach in which any vaccinated adult can get a booster shot of any vaccine.

All three vaccines are highly effective at reducing the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, including the widespread Delta variant. If you have a strong preference, consider calling your chosen vaccination clinic to confirm they have the brand you’re looking for.

Do I need a booster shot?

If you’re fully vaccinated and not a member of a high-risk group, your risk of contracting COVID-19 is very low: around 1 in 5,000. However, the extra layer of protection provided by a booster shot can only help you. Most vaccination sites have an ample supply of vaccines, and getting a booster for yourself will not “take one away” from someone who needs it more. In rare cases where vaccine supplies are limited, priority will generally be given to seniors and those with underlying health risks.

Do booster shots cost anything?

No. Just like your initial round of vaccination, all booster shots will be free of charge. You do not need to have health insurance to get a booster shot. If you bring along proof of insurance, your local clinic may charge the insurance company an administrative fee. However, this fee will never be charged to you personally.

Are vaccines safe?

Yes. More than half of Missouri’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 3 million Missourians are fully vaccinated, with the number climbing every day.

“The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe – as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, in an October 21 statement.

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services is available to answer your questions about vaccination. You can explore its website here or call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411. In Kansas, you can learn more about vaccination in Johnson County by calling 913-715-2819 and in Wyandotte County by calling 913-573-5311.

Have questions about COVID-19 guidelines, vaccination, or booster shots? Are you having trouble getting a booster shot? Ask our Service Journalism team at kcq@kcstar.com, or fill out this form below.

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