More than 8,000 North Dakotans have received three COVID-19 vaccine shots, including booster doses
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Roughly 8,000 North Dakotans have received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state’s Department of Health.
That includes people who are immunocompromised and were recommended to get a third Moderna dose, as well as those who got the Pfizer booster dose beginning late last week.
“COVID vaccines do continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, but we are starting to see effectiveness decline in those 65 and older, which is why we really want to make sure they get a booster dose if they received the Pfizer vaccine,” said North Dakota Department of Health Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell.
More than 80,000 North Dakotans are eligible for the Pfizer booster shot. They can now get it at pharmacies, hospitals, or public health facilities. “And in the very near future, the North Dakota Department of Health pop-up clinics will also start administering booster doses,” Howell added.
Every long term care facility in North Dakota has named a primary vaccinator to get booster shots to those most vulnerable.
“Facilities have been encouraged to contact their primary vaccinator and are scheduling their booster doses, vaccination clinics I should say, as soon as possible,” explained Vanessa Raile with the North Dakota Long Term Care Association.
Although it’s important for those who need them to get their booster shots, health officials say getting the unvaccinated vaccinated will have the biggest impact.
“Booster doses are not an answer to ending this pandemic,” emphasized Howell. “It will have a small impact but really, the what’s impacting our hospital capacity, what’s causing the majority of the cases, are unvaccinated individuals.”
Howell says getting more North Dakotans fully vaccinated continues to be the priority.
Fifty-two percent of North Dakotans 12 years and older are fully vaccinated.
According to the CDC, the state ranks 47th nationally for the percent of the entire population fully vaccinated.