About 300 drivers in Bismarck participated in the first Moderna booster vaccination drive in clinic.

“This was convenient, pretty painless, and a good way to handle this,” Sharon Fisher said.

“I have had no reactions to it, I see no reason not to get it,” Wally Kahler said.

Thanksgiving is just weeks away, which means large family gatherings with the potential of spreading COVID-19.

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health is hosting a two-day, free Moderna booster drive-through clinic for eligible individuals inside the Bismarck Event Center.

Anyone 65 years or older who received both COVID-19 vaccinations six months ago is eligible.

Individuals between 18 and 64 with a substantial risk of the virus and working in a high-risk environment are also eligible.

“Now that Moderna is available for people, they can come in and get that booster shot and get their antibodies built back up for the holidays,” Director of Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Renae Moch said.

Moch said COVID-19 vaccinations can help with reducing hospitalizations and even sudden loss of life.

“We’ve seen some decline in the last few weeks. Hospitalizations and deaths have been the highest in October as they have been in months prior to this,” Moch said.

North Dakotans are doing their part by rolling down their windows and rolling up their sleeves to take the shot.

“I’m just going to do the responsible thing as to get a booster shot and protect the kids that I work with, the staff that I work with, and my parent that I still have,” Kahler said.

“I am here to protect myself and my family and plus my husband is immunocompromised so there’s a little bit extra incentive to keep both of us safe,” Fisher said.

There is uncertainty if an additional booster shot will be required within the next six months.

“There will be continuing studies and research done to determine how long the booster shot is providing that protection,” Moch said.

Although the clinic is administering the Moderna vaccine, anyone who received Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson can mix/match the booster shot.

“People have found that they have better protection if they had the Moderna shot this time around than they had Pfizer before. Some people do like to stick with that same series, and we had a combination of both,” Moch said.

The free clinic continues Wednesday with appointments starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. The clinic is only available to those who have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination six months ago.

Williston is also hosting a booster clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1321 West Dakota Parkway.