By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – The Biden administration has recommended booster shots for most vaccinated Americans. The COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective in preventing hospitalizations, but immunocompromised individuals may need a boost sooner than others.

National Jewish Health is now providing a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for vulnerable Coloradans.

“We’ve had scores of phone calls from people asking when they can get their third dose and if they qualify for that immunosuppressed category,” said Dr. David Beuther, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health.

Beuther says about 700 patients vaccinated at National Jewish Health qualify for a third shot.

People who are immunocompromised are vulnerable to COVID-19, as they are at higher risk of prolonged illness. Someone with a compromised immune system may not have the same level of immunity with a two dose vaccine compared to healthier individuals.

The third dose being offered at NJH is an additional shot of the current vaccine.

“At the same time, the vaccine manufacturers are working on a different vaccine that is targeted specifically against the Delta variant,” explained Beuther.

Initially, federal regulators said healthy people should get a booster 8 months after their second shot. Gov. Jared Polis wants to shorten that window.

“The booster is showing great results in terms of reducing COVID rates. We requested that there be a 60 day window on that eight month period,” said Polis during a news conference on Wednesday.

To get a third shot now, you would have to be undergoing things like cancer treatment or be an organ recipient. The CDC has provided a list of who best qualifies.

As a doctor who received his vaccine in the earliest phase, Beuther will qualify for his booster soon. However, he’s confident in the shots he already has.

“I’m excited about it, but I’m not going to trample over an immunocompromised person to get it,” said Beuther.

National Jewish Health still offers first and second dose vaccinations on a walk-up basis.

People with appointments at NJH for the third dose vaccine should arrive at the facility’s main patient entrance. Patients will be screened and then directed to the correct location for the vaccine clinic.

Third dose vaccinations require an appointment and can be booked at njhealth.org/vaccines. Additional appointments will be opened when available.

Tori Mason