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Local independent pharmacy administering COVID-19 boosters acknowledges new guidance can be “confusing”

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Given the broad Pfizer booster shot eligibility groups, vaccine administrators are preparing for an increase in demand. Fitchburg Family Pharmacy is already administering the shot, but pharmacy founder Thad Schumacher acknowledges the new guidance can be confusing.

“I think as we move forward it will become clearer,” said Schumacher. “I think everything is so new and the information is so raw and we have to wait and see how it will come out in the end.”

There are two groups eligible for the booster: Those who should get it, and those who may get it.

While Schumacher is referring to the state and county health departments to offer further guidance on eligibility, he is helping to parse through the new booster recommendations and what patients need to do before getting one.

Before administering the booster, Schumacher says the pharmacy verifies a patient is on the Pfizer series and the date of the second vaccine dose. He says if a patient is unable to show their vaccine card, this information is accessible through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry.

If the date of the second dose is less than six months ago, Schumacher says patients have to wait.

“We’ve seen people who qualify from the age standpoint but they don’t qualify from the time elapsed standpoint,” he said.

In addition to the possibility that original vaccine doses could wane after six months, Schumacher suspects this timeline was put in place to make sure there isn’t a run on vaccine supply.

“I’d be speculating but I think that was the decision makers way to strategize how to give third doses to people without having a land slide of people coming to providers to ask for vaccine,” he said. “This is a natural progression since we slowly rolled out vaccine for each category of person. As we move through January to April it makes sense from the last dose that you had that it will line people up in a strategic manner going through October, November, December of this year,”

For those who do qualify, Schumacher says there is plenty of vaccine available.

“We have hundreds of doses at the ready for us to give,” he said.

Doses that are no different from the first two doses of the Pfizer.

“It’s the same exact shot all three times,” Schumacher said.

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