Marshall County Health Department is now giving out second COVID-19 booster shots to those older than 50.

The agency began to give second boosters to the county’s older residents who received their last booster shot at least four months ago. Second boosters are also available to those who meet certain criteria as immunocompromised.

Cheryl Skalla, health department director, said her office had taken several calls this week asking about the latest vaccine recommendations.

“We have plenty of vaccine,” Skalla said.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment this week authorized more than 2,000 COVID-19 vaccine providers across Kansas to begin offering a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for individuals aged 50 and over and certain immunocompromised people.

The federal Food and Drug Administration authorized the next round of boosters and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending it also. In addition, CDC recommends adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna.

“These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations, including those who are over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness,” a KDHE news release said Wednesday.

The following updates were made to booster shot eligibility.

• A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least four months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.

• A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise at least four months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. These are people who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.

• A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at least four months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older with the same certain kinds of immunocompromise.

KDHE noted that vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, to slow transmission and to reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death.