COVID-19 vaccine is stored at -80 degrees celsius in the pharmacy at Roseland Community Hospital on December 18, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The hospital began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to its workers yesterday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster vaccinations are now available to Pennsylvanians, state health officials said Friday.
The three vaccines against COVID-19 “are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating delta variant,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said in a statement Thursday night.
Boosters for the Pfizer vaccine were approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration and CDC last month.
A Pfizer study released Thursday showed that a booster dose of the company’s vaccine was 95.6 percent effective in the trial of more than 10,000 participants.
“Vaccine providers across Pennsylvania have supplies of all three safe and effective vaccines ready to administer booster shots today to those who are eligible,” acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a statement Friday.
Currently, Pennsylvanians who meet the following criteria are eligible for a booster vaccination:
- It’s been at least six months since your initial series of two doses, and you are one of the following:
- Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to get a booster, if it’s been at least two months since their initial dose.
The department confirmed that eligible Pennsylvanians can receive any brand for their booster dose, regardless of the brand of their first dose.
“These vaccines remain our best strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Beam said. “If you are fully vaccinated you still have protection. Getting a booster dose will increase your level of defense.”
The newly authorized booster shots come as the sharp spike in infections and deaths caused by that delta variant has begun to wane.
But the country is still seeing about 75,000 new cases every day, and about 1,300 COVID-19-related deaths, according to CDC tracking data.
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