New Jersey, Philadelphia begin giving COVID-19 booster shots | Who is eligible?

In New Jersey, health officials say 1.1 million people are now eligible for a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
VOORHEES, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Booster shots are going into arms after the CDC approved the third doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine last week.

Dawn Caldarulo, a nurse at Virtua Health in Voorhees, New Jersey, said as soon as she heard booster shots were approved for healthcare workers, she signed up.

"I wanted to know how quickly I can get it," said Caldarulo.

Caldarulo specializes in wound and ostomy care, but has taken care of many COVID-19 positive patients.

"The reason why I wanted to get the booster right away is because I never wanted to go through or see what we saw the last 18 months. I thought I could be a part of doing something good and be an advocate to other people to show that I got it," said Caldarulo.

This week, Virtua Health starting giving boosters to the system's healthcare workers after the CDC gave the go-ahead for a third shot of Pfizer for certain populations.

Anyone over 65, those with an underlying medical condition over the age of 18, high-risk essential workers, and long-term care residents are eligible to receive a Pfizer booster six months after their second dose.

Third doses of Pfizer or Moderna were approved last month for anyone with a compromised immune system 28 days after their second shot.

In New Jersey, health officials say 1.1 million people are now eligible for a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

Philadelphia health officials say about 10,800 people in Philadelphia have received a third dose of vaccine, and nearly 1,000 of those doses were administered this weekend as booster doses.

City officials expect that number to rise, as some providers are still reporting.

While doctors say this is an exciting step, they're more concerned with people who aren't vaccinated.

"There are people out there who have no protection at all. And having them make a plan to be vaccinated, be less vulnerable - that's where we really need to head," said Dr. Angela Skrzynski, a physician at Virtua Health.

So what if you didn't receive Pfizer?

Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are expected to present data for boosters to the FDA and CDC in the coming weeks. Moderna's proposed booster would be a half-dose.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.