(ABC4) – Late last week, the FDA authorized the use of a third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for the immunocompromised. The CDC recommends those who qualify, get the third dose as part of their initial vaccine series. The Weber-Morgan Health Department started administering third doses this week and says there are a few things people should know before they head out to get it.

Health departments are working to get third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines out to those who qualify.

“As soon as that CDC and FDA approval came through, that gave anyone who has the ability to provide COVID vaccine the opportunity to provide that to these eligible populations,” Weber-Morgan Health Department Epidemiology Nurse Amy Carter explains to ABC4.

Carter says the health department offers third doses of the Moderna vaccine by appointment at the health department’s office building location (477 23rd St, Ogden) and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine without an appointment at its community clinics which are held weekly across the two counties.

Carter tells ABC4 the department encourages those who qualify to get their third dose adding, “that really helps to build, or boost, that efficacy, that protection level against COVID, and especially hospitalization, or more severe disease, or death.”

Along with those who have weakened immune systems getting the third dose, Carter says the public also needs to help protect the immunocompromised by getting vaccinated.

Currently, in Weber and Morgan Counties, 43.5% of the total population is fully vaccinated and 50% of the total population has had at least one dose.

Carter explains that the department encourages all individuals who can get vaccinated to do it. However, she says those who are in direct contact with immunocompromised individuals should highly consider getting vaccinated. She states: “Any individuals in their home, that they are around every day. If we can get those individuals vaccinated as well, that kind of helps cocoon that immunocompromised individual to have even more protection in their life.”

For those who qualify to get a third dose, they need to take their vaccination card to prove they have waited enough time after getting their second dose. “That third dose needs to be given 28 days after you’ve had your second dose,” explains Carter.

The CDC and FDA may approve a booster for all others next. Unlike immunocompromised individuals who can get a third dose 28 days after their second, those hoping to get a booster may have to wait eight months after their second dose.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you: https://www.vaccines.gov/.