Booster vaccines approved

Published 8:59 pm Friday, October 22, 2021

On Friday, the Alabama Department of Public Health released the latest guidelines for COVID-19 booster shots.

On Oct. 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines to all for the use of a single booster dose. The amended recommendation allows for mixing and matching of booster shots.

For anyone receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot six months or more after vaccination:

• Age 65 and older

• Age 18 or older who live in a long-term care setting

• Age 18 or older who have an underlying medical condition

• Age 18 or older who work in high-risk settings.

Visit cdc.gov/coronavirus to read a list of underlying medical conditions and high-risk settings.

Nearly 15 million people received the Janssen/Johson & Johnson vaccine. Booster shots are also recommended for those people 18 or older who were vaccinated more than two months ago. Booster vaccines for the JJ&J vaccine recipients can be Pfizer, Moderna or J&J vaccines.

Accordig to the Alabama Department of Public Health, “Some persons may prefer receiving a booster using the same vaccine received for their primary series while others may prefer receiving a booster using a different vaccine. For those receiving boosters with the Moderna product, half doses are to be given.”

According to CDC, current available data show that all three approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourself, reduce the spread of the virus, and help prevent new variants from emerging.

As cooler weather and holiday celebrations approach, COVID-19 mitigation practices such as indoor masking should continue to be followed. Also, as we are starting to see flu cases, ADPH would like to make sure that individuals know that influenza (flu) vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.  Co-administration is allowable and is not contraindicated. Additional information on the CDC’s recommendation for a booster dose is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.