Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine are seen at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando

The city of El Paso is now offering Pfizer booster shots to certain groups after the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved giving an extra dose for greater protection against COVID-19.

Pfizer boosters are available by appointment only at various locations across the city, including the Downtown convention center.

Booster doses are available for the following groups:

  • People 65 and older
  • People 18 and older with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection
  • People 18 and older whose workplaces put them at higher risk of getting infected, such as health care workers, teachers and grocery store employees
  • Residents of long-term care facilities

To receive the booster, people must have received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago.

The booster is only available to those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The FDA and CDC have not endorsed “mixing and matching vaccine brands,” city officials said in a news release.

The FDA has not yet recommended boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. It is reviewing booster data from both vaccine-makers.

“If and when the Moderna booster is approved the City will administer accordingly,” the release stated.

Online appointments can be made at The booster is free.

The city is also offering a third dose of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by appointment to people with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatment or those living with advanced or untreated HIV.

Unlike a booster shot, the third dose can be given 28 days after the second dose.

CVS and Walgreens offer the third dose as well as Pfizer booster shots.

Cover photo by Lisa Ferdinando/Department of Defense.

Molly Smith has been a reporter for the El Paso Times and The (McAllen) Monitor. She’s covered education, criminal justice and local government. A Seattle native, she’s lived in Texas since 2014.