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Health departments plan booster shot clinics across Western New York

Despite the FDA panel not approving boosters for most people on Friday, there are plans in place in the case that they are approved in the future.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Associated Press is reporting that a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has rejected a plan to offer Pfizer booster shots to most Americans.

However, it has endorsed the extra shot for people who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease.

Even though it was not approved, 2 On Your Side checked in with local counties here to see what their plans are if it is eventually approved.

A reminder that right now, it's already approved for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. So if that's you, check with your doctors and contact your local health department.

But for everybody else, here is what we were able to find out.

No one from any of the county health departments was available for an interview, but we did hear back from four of the five counties.

In Niagara County, there are plans for the county to do booster shots if the FDA and New York State move forward, and getting the shots would be similar to the mass vaccination sites the county ran earlier this year. 

In Erie County, the health department is ready to do booster doses with the existing clinic schedule. It will expand that schedule as needed. 

Both of those counties are already doing third shots for people who can get them.

Erie County told us it expects to have more information about boosters early next week, and there's a meeting planned for local health departments with the state. 

Chautauqua County didn't have any info about booster shots to share with us just yet.

And in Allegany County, they are also planning to make boosters available and are building out a network of providers across the county. It's also willing to serve as the central ordering hub.

No one from the Pharmacists' Association of Western New York was available to talk with us on Friday, but we checked the CVS and Rite Aid websites and CVS is waiting for CDC guidance. Rite Aid is already doing booster shots if you qualify.