VDH shares statement about Moderna, J&J boosters; ‘mixing and matching’ vaccines


FILE – This Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo shows vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a temporary clinic in Exeter, N.H. In September, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved extra doses of Pfizer’s original COVID-19 vaccine after studies showed it still works well enough against the delta variant. And the FDA is weighing evidence for boosters of the original Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — With Friday marking the first day that Virginians will be able to receive booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines, Virginia health officials shared a statement about the boosters, as well as “mixing and matching” of vaccines.

On Thursday, Oct. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared recommendations for booster shots for certain people who previously received the Moderna or J&J vaccines.

For individuals who received either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, health officials recommend a single booster at least six months after the initial doses for those who are age 65 or older, those living in long-term care facilities, and those age 18 or older who are at increased risk of contracting the coronavirus due to underlying medical conditions or where they work or live.

As for those who age 18 and up who received the J&J vaccine, a single booster is recommended at least two months after receiving their initial dose, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

In addition, the CDC says that people eligible for a booster vaccine may choose which of the three vaccines to receive as their booster.

The Virginia State Vaccination Liaison, Dr. Danny Avula, shared the following statement on Friday, Oct. 22 about booster doses of coronavirus vaccines:

“VDH has been working with our vaccination partners — pharmacies, healthcare providers, hospitals and other institutions — to prepare for the booster rollout.  In addition to these vaccination partners, Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) are strategically located across the Commonwealth to ensure Virginians will be able to access a booster dose when it’s recommended.  The move by the CDC to allow vaccine recipients to ‘mix and match’ vaccines for their boosters gives Virginians another level of choice in protecting themselves from COVID-19.

If you decide to get a booster dose by mixing and matching, VDH urges you to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider who can assist you in making the best decision for your own situation. We also stress that all three vaccines authorized for administration in the United States are highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death.”

Statement from Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia’s State Vaccination Liaison, on Oct. 22, 2021

“Those who are unvaccinated remain at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. This population remains VDH’s top priority.  Everyone 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines at a Community Vaccination Center or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1),” the VDH stated on Friday.

According to the VDH, appointments are still strongly encouraged at the Community Vaccination Centers to make sure you get the vaccine you want and to avoid extended wait times. However, walk-ins are still welcome.

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