Allegheny County prepares for boosters; local COVID cases remain high

Vaccine providers in Allegheny County are preparing to administer COVID-19 booster shots, Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said at a press briefing Wednesday, shortly before boosters for residents 65 and older received federal approval.

“We meet as a group and talk about vaccine distribution and vaccine needs in the county, and we’re all gearing up and will be ready when we’re given the signal to do so,” Bogen said.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday evening authorized boosters for the people age 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine more than six months ago. Individuals at high-risk are also eligible, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to give guidance soon on who qualifies. The federal government has not approved boosters of other COVID-19 vaccines.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced last week that, since January 2021, 97 percent of COVID-19-related deaths and 95 percent of

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