'Just wait': Health officials respond to self-prescribed COVID-19 booster shots

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the Delta variant and breakthrough cases reported, some people are wondering if they should get a booster shot before it's even approved or recommended.

As health officials encourage unvaccinated people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, some people already vaccinated are wondering how they can get an additional or booster shot.

Marin County Health officials say they've received lots of requests from individuals wanting a booster.

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ABC7 News Special Correspondent Dr. Alok Patel says, "There's no evidence right now that the average person should go out and try to get a booster shot or another vaccine if they've already been vaccinated."

Marin County says it has safeguards in place to prevent someone from getting a self-prescribed booster, including online registration, which is tied to the California Immunization Registry and ID checks.

Santa Clara County also says it has electronic records to lookup whether someone has already received the vaccine.

CVS pharmacy says, "There are a few ways immunizers could identify a patient who is trying to get a "self-prescribed booster shot," although the ability to detect these situations is limited."

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Ways to identify a vaccinated patient include if the patient is truthful and lets the provider know they're trying to get an additional dose, if the patient uses their insurance to cover the cost while registering to receive an additional dose, and if the previous doses appear in the state's Immunization Information System.

Walgreens tells ABC7 News they also ask patients to verify their eligibility and that per CDC guidance, COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable and the safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series or third dose of the vaccine has not been evaluated.

"People that have pre-existing medical conditions or people who are above the age of 65 may need a booster shot in the future, but I would urge the general public just to wait and if they have any questions about their own specific situation, their exposure, underlying medical conditions, that they chat with their doctor before running out, self prescribing, lying or doing something else to get a booster shot," said Dr. Patel.


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