Mayo Clinic, Gundersen to administer booster COVID-19 shots

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Mayo Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System have both started administering booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible patients.

Mayo Clinic said it is administering a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines to moderately or severely immunocompromised people 12 years of age or older.

“As a community, we stand together and will continue to fight the fight on COVID-19 as we have done so far,” says Dr. Paul Molling, administrator and family physician, Mayo Clinic Health System in Onalaska. “Let us all do what we can to protect each other. If you have not received either an initial COVID-19 vaccination or if one of those who are recommended to receive your 3rd COVID vaccination, please do such. Take the necessary precautions available. We want everyone to be healthy, we empathize with those might be confused or scared about this situation. We, in healthcare, thank you for keeping us and our community healthy being vaccinated.”

Eligible people will receive a booster from the same manufacturer as their initial doses. Neither Gundersen nor Mayo Clinic are offering boosters of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine.

Those eligible can self-identify as being immunocompromised and must meet one of these requirements for the booster:

  • Receiving cancer treatment for tumors or blood cancer
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  •  Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

View the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of conditions here.

“The reason that immunocompromised people will need an additional vaccine is that their immune systems don’t respond as well to the initial doses of the vaccine and the response they do have wears off over time,” says Dr. Melanie Swift, co-chair of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group. “People with a weakened immune system have a more difficult time fighting off infection than a healthy person.”

Mayo Clinic Health System patients eligible for additional COVID-19 vaccine doses have been identified and will be contacted through Patient Online Services which includes their Mayo Clinic portal app, or by mail to schedule an appointment. Patients that do not have access to Patient Online Services can call 608-392-7400 to schedule an additional dose.

Mayo Clinic Health System continues to encourage all eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine wherever it is available. Visit website for a complete list of local vaccinators.

Anyone age 12 and older, patients or non-patients, can get the free, safe COVID-19 booster at Gundersen. Adult Gundersen patients can walk in, schedule their appointment through MyChart, or call the scheduling line at (608) 775-6829. Adult non-patients can walk in or call the scheduling line at (608) 775-6829, option 2, for a vaccine appointment. Patients under age 18 need a parent or guardian consent in person or by calling the Gundersen scheduling line at (608) 775-6829.

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