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All three COVID-19 vaccine boosters available for some

by Staff report
| October 26, 2021 1:00 AM

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is expanding COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to certain people after getting recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, a DOH release stated.

Health care providers in September started offering Pfizer-BioNTech’s booster shots to certain people. Since then, more than 345,000 doses, or combination of booster and third doses, have been administered in the state, the release stated.

Providers now also can give doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to eligible people. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s boosters are full doses, while Moderna’s is a half dose.

After six months since their Pfizer and Moderna vaccine series are completed, these people can get a booster: those 65 and older, those 18 – 64 who live in long-term care settings, those 18 – 64 who have underlying medical conditions or those at increased risk of social inequities, and those 18 – 64 who work or live in high-risk settings.

After two months since receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, officials recommended everyone age 18 and older get a booster dose of any type.

The FDA and CDC said studies found “mixing and matching” boosters “is safe and effective,” the release stated.

“COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 12 and older,” the release stated. “Currently, there are plenty of vaccines available across the state for everyone who needs a dose.”

“Vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective tool we have to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Getting the unvaccinated their first shots remains a priority,” said state Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah. “A booster dose will further protect fully vaccinated individuals by increasing the vaccine’s effectiveness in their bodies, which otherwise may wane over time.”

To find a vaccine, visit vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov or call the COVID-19 information line at 833-VAX-HELP. Different languages are available.