Booster news !. The latest on COVID-19 boosters | by Washington State Department of Health | Public Health Connection | November, 2021

The latest on COVID-19 Boosters

Washington State Department of Health

COVID-19 booster doses are now recommended by the CDC for all three vaccines in the United States, for certain populations. That means up to 99 million Americans are now entitled to an extra boost of protection.

Chances are that you or someone you know may now be eligible for a booster. But with different requirements for each vaccine, it can be hard to say when it’s your turn; or even whatever vaccine booster you may need.

Read on for the latest guide.

Anyone 18 years of age or older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago should receive a booster. And that’s for anyone adult – regardless of their level of risk.

People who received their second dose of Moderna vaccine at least six months ago and is in one of the following groups should get a booster:

People in the groups below should also consider getting a booster, depending on their individual risk factors:

The above recommendations are the same as for Pfizer vaccine boosters.

While all vaccines approved by the CDC are safe and effective, the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine has a lower efficacy rate than the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). The booster for the J&J vaccine brings its efficiency up to 94%, which is about the same as the mRNA vaccines. Researchers also found that a Johnson & Johnson booster shot given two months after the initial dose increased antibody levels by four to six-fold compared to a single dose. So if you were given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the extra protection is an important consideration.

Still on the fence? A booster of any type helps to provide continued protection against serious illness from COVID-19, especially for those at higher risk. People at higher risk groups (such as older adults and people in long-term care) should receive a booster dose, as their immunity may drop faster.

Clinical trials have not found any new or unusual side effects from boosters.

It is also important to remember that some populations may be better suited for a third dose (which is different from a booster). Talk to your provider if you have questions about which one may be right for you.

Right now, boosters are only available for certain groups. Others may be eligible when more data is available.

Don’t worry if you are not eligible for a booster yet. FDA-approved and approved COVID-19 vaccines are still very effective in reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, even against the delta variant.

Booster or no booster, you are still considered fully vaccinated (for travel, access to restaurants, events, etc.) – as long as you are two weeks after your second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single dose dose of J&J vaccine.

Yes, you can, but it’s not necessary. FDA approved blending and matching – which means you able to get a different vaccine for your booster dose than you received for your primary series. This can make it easier for you to get an available booster if your original vaccine is not available from your provider. There are no safety issues with mixing and matching. In fact, some may benefit from receiving another vaccine if they have particular health risks or concerns.

It is best to chat with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about mixing and matching vaccines.

To find a vaccine site near you, visit the Vaccine Locator or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1–800–525–0127, then press #. Language help is available.

Remember to take your vaccination card with you so that you can show that you have already received your first vaccine (s). If you do not have your card, the provider can look up your registration – or you can access your records using MyIR or WAverify.

You can also report yourself if you are eligible for a booster. You do not need to present proof or have a note from your doctor.

To add an extra immunity “boost” you can also get your flu vaccine at the same time. Talk to your provider to see if this is an option.

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