PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Millions of people in our region have already been vaccinated against COVID-19. And after nearly a year of beginning immunizations, some people will need a third shot.

After weeks of debate, on Sept. 23, 2021, the CDC director signed off on Pfizer booster shots for millions of people.

Here’s what you need to know about vaccine eligibility and distribution sites, including where you can get a booster shot.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A BOOSTER SHOT?

CDC recommends that the following groups should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series (i.e., the first 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine):

  • people aged 65 years and older
  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions
  • residents aged 18 years and older in long-term care settings
  • people aged 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting

Here are the frontline workers and other types of employees who qualify for a booster shot, according to the CDC, which noted that the list could be updated in the future.

  • First responders, including health care workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff
  • Teachers and support staff, including school administrators
  • Day-care workers
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

Underlying medical conditions included in this booster authorization include:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders (such as alcohol, opioid, and cocaine use disorders)

Separately, some people with certain immunosuppressing conditions who were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna should get an additional dose four weeks after their second dose.

See this chart, courtesy of Phila.gov, to explain the situation. Check the column of the vaccine you got for recommendations on if you should get a booster dose or not.

WHERE CAN I GET A BOOSTER SHOT?

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s network of vaccine providers is ready to deliver booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine. To find a vaccine provider near you, visit vaccines.gov.

Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Department of Health started giving out vaccine boosters on Sept. 25, 2021, as long as an individual meets the CDC’s criteria. You can get a booster anywhere the city is giving out the Pfizer vaccine. For more information and to find a vaccine provider near you, call (215) 685-5488 or click here.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County is now accepting appointments for a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. You can make an appointment at any of the county-run vaccine clinics. You’ll have to confirm your eligibility for the third dose. Click here to find a vaccine clinic near you.

New Jersey 

New Jersey is reopening some of its mega-sites to handle the demand for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. People who want a third dose should identify themselves as immunocompromised and proof of immunocompromised status is not required. Vaccine appointments can be made at any existing vaccination location without a prescription.

Not in any of the areas above? Click here to find a vaccine provider near you.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?

If you have your CDC Vaccination Card, you should bring it with you so that the additional dose can be added to your card, or bring a photo of your vaccine card on your phone to verify that you received your second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.

In Philadelphia, if you have lost your vaccine card, you can request your full vaccine record by visiting https://bit.ly/philavaxrecordrequest. People who have laminated their vaccine card can still use it. If you go to a City clinic, our staff will place a sticker to show that you have received your booster dose directly on the laminate. Many clinics will be able to replace your card altogether.

In New Jersey, if you do not have your card, you can bring other documentation, including the digital record via the Docket app. The vaccine provider can also look up the individual’s vaccine record on the State’s vaccine registry.

You do not need any proof of a medical condition, do not need a note from a medical provider, and do not need a prescription.


NEED A COVID-19 VACCINE?

Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Here are some more sites that are helping the public connect with vaccine appointments.

CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Walgreens and independent pharmacies are scheduling limited vaccine appointments in select locations based on local eligibility guidelines. Register on their websites.

You can also contact your state or local health department for more information.

PENNSYLVANIA

All Pennsylvanians 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, including Philadelphia residents.

Pennsylvania Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said the accelerated vaccine rollout in Pennsylvania was a reflection of supply now out-pacing demand in many locations.

The state also unveiled a new mobile vaccine unit that will travel to mainly underserved communities, aiming to reverse vaccine hesitancy.

Find a vaccine provider to schedule an appointment here.

In Philadelphia, all Philadelphians 12 and older can now set up their own vaccine appointments by clicking here.

Children between the ages of 12-15 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian & must bring DOB documentation. Click here for more information.

To register in Philadelphia for a vaccine appointment, click here.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has a COVID-19 Call Center available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 215-685-5488.

Montgomery County established several vaccination sites, including the Montgomery County Community College, Norristown Area High School. To register for a shot, visit vaccine.montcopa.org. Appointments for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are available for everyone age 12 and over who lives or works in Montgomery County. Appointments are recommended but not required. Walk-up registration is available at all sites. To see a list of clinic hours and locations, visit www.montcopa.org/covid-19vaccine or call (833) 875-3967. For directions and parking information, click here.

County COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics:
  • Bethel Community Church, 575 North Keim St., Pottstown, PA 19464 (Weekday and Saturday hours)
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church, 712 Penllyn Pike, Spring House, PA 19477 (All Saturdays in May)
  • King of Prussia Mall, (former JC Penney), 160 North Gulph Road, #A110, King of Prussia, PA 19406 (Located on the 2nd level of the former JC Penney, across from True Food Kitchen and Shake Shack. Please enter from the parking lot. The entrance inside the mall is closed.)
  • Montgomery Mall (former Sears), 804 Bethlehem Pike, Suite 600, North Wales, PA 19454 (Located on the 2nd level of the former Sears location, near the food court entrance. The entrance inside the mall is closed.)
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Main St., Lansdale, PA 19446
  • Parkside Shopping Center (between Planet Fitness and Rally House), 2522 West Moreland Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090
Parents or guardians bringing children aged 12-17 to get vaccinated should make sure they are attending a Pfizer vaccine clinic. Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for people under the age of 18. Pfizer and J&J clinics are listed at www.montcopa.org/covid-19vaccine.

Delaware County residents can register for a vaccine here. Some Delaware County school districts are holding vaccine clinics for high school students.

Chester County residents can register for a vaccine here. Chester County Health Department officials will offer the Pfizer vaccine at its walk-in or drive-thru clinic locations, with or without an appointment, from Thursday morning, May 13 for everyone age 12 and over at the following Chester County Health Department vaccine sites:

Exton Square Mall (former Sears store)
222 Exton Square Mall, Exton, PA 19341
Tuesday-Friday 12:00 noon – 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Longwood Gardens overflow parking area (drive-thru)
1010 E. Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317
Tuesday-Friday 11:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
If individuals prefer to make an appointment for the vaccine at either of these locations, they can do so at https://chesterpaprod.service-now.com/vam

These providers will be administering the vaccine when it becomes available to more people, as well as local and county sites.

Retail pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, will also be administering the vaccine.

For individual county sites and procedures, visit your county’s health department website.

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey began distributing the vaccine in mid-December with a goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population, 4.7 million people, within six months.

Register for the vaccine here.

The vaccine is being distributed in hospitals as well as county sites and retail pharmacies, such as Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens.

The following mega-sites will serve as hubs for priority groups:

  • Atlantic County: Atlantic City Convention Center
  • Bergen County: Racetrack at Meadowlands, East Rutherford
  • Burlington County: Moorestown Mall
  • Gloucester County: Rowan College of South Jersey, Sewell
  • Middlesex County: New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, Edison
  • Morris County: Rockaway Townsquare

For individual county sites and procedures, visit your county’s health department website.

 

DELAWARE

Delaware joins a dozen other states in opening vaccine registration to everyone.

Register for the vaccine here.

The Delaware Division of Public Health has set up a vaccine call center to provide more information about distribution: 1-833-643-1715.

For individual county sites and procedures, visit your county’s health department website.