Casper-area health officials say they are ready to implement third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine should they get the final green light.

The FDA on Wednesday approved booster shots for anyone 65 or older, as well as people at high risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms. An independent CDC advisory panel is meeting this week to discuss the details.

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On Thursday, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department announced that officials are awaiting upcoming CDC and Wyoming Department of Health guidelines on issuing third doses.

"Though additional doses are not available to the public at this time, the CNCHD is ready to implement a mass vaccination drive-through event that will be free to the public, when and if federal agencies approve additional doses," a news release states. "Officials say they will communicate with the public those details including dates, times and locations as soon as they are known but none are currently scheduled."

Health officials say additional doses are common among effective and tested vaccines including DTaP, singles, polio, and hepatitis A&B.

"We know there's been a lot of confusion and we know that there are a lot of people in the community eager to get their third dose," department spokesperson Hailey Bloom said. "Our top federal health agencies are continuing to monitor and study each vaccine to determine when and if additional doses will be necessary to protect us from COVID-19."

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department is continuing to offer free testing and vaccinations for those who have not been vaccinated yet. Tests and vaccines are being offered at the CNCHD at 475 S. Spruce Street in Casper.

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