RICHMOND, Va. -- Thousands of Virginians are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot from Pfizer as cases continue to climb across the country and state.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the authorization of the Pfizer booster shot for specific groups of Americans that are at a higher risk of contracting the virus -- including people 65 years and older.
"I'm very excited. My husband and I both are," Cynthia Jez said. "We have a big, cross country trip plan next week and we've already talked to our pharmacist and have an appointment Saturday before we leave town. So we're quite excited."
The approval also applies to those who are at high risk for getting the virus, and those who work in places where transmission may be higher -- such as health care workers, teachers, daycare workers and grocery store employees.
"I think it's really great, especially, you know, as we continue to follow the science, and recognize that the boosters are important for the continued effectiveness of the vaccine," Jez said.
"My mothers in assisted living along with providers and I want to make sure they stay safe, so they can continue to care for her," Jez added.
Amy Popovich with the Richmond-Henrico Health District said while they wait on guidance from the CDC at the local level, they’re preparing vaccine appointments for those immunocompromised to the virus.
"There's not the same amount of emergency that there was last spring," Popovich said. "We do have clinics already set up for next week that will be available by appointment. We'll continue to do boosters by appointment."
"My hope is that everyone will give it their best shot and get their best shot," Jez added.
The FDA said the booster should be administered at least six months after a person completed their first vaccine series.
The booster is currently only available for the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA still needs to review data from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson before authorizing a booster shot from those companies.