Dane Co. pharmacy, senior living center plan ahead with COVID-19 booster recommendations

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane County businesses are planning ahead after hearing recommendations from a U.S. panel to authorize COVID-19 booster shots for certain groups.

Friday afternoon an advisory group for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus boosters for people with high risk of severe disease and those ages 65 and up. The FDA has yet to officially approve the boosters for the recommended groups.

Capitol Lakes, a senior living facility in Madison, has been planning for a booster clinic for about a month, according to executive director Tim Conroy. He said he considers the Friday recommendation a green light for what would become his latest vaccine operation.

As reported in February by NBC15, Capitol Lakes said roughly 99 percent of residents got vaccinated. Since then, Conroy shared two vaccinated residents and three staff members got breakthrough cases of COVID-19. “It just shows the vaccines work but that the risk is still out there,” he said.

Conroy said he is now looking ahead to a mid-October booster clinic for residents in partnership with Hometown Pharmacy.

In its Friday decision, the FDA’s advisory group also rejected the shot be available to everyone.

Tony Peterangelo, a pharmacist at Forward Pharmacy in McFarland, said he felt relief at this decision. Right now, he is the only pharmacist there who can administer shots but said the interest in boosters has been high.

“It’s a lot to coordinate,” he said, “and to throw hundreds of COVID boosters on top of that would have been very, very difficult.”

He said he will administer booster shots for the recommended subset of people via walk-ins.

The U.S. has already approved Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for people with weakened immune systems. But across the country, some people have been able to get these boosters regardless of their health.

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