CDC approves booster doses for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today recommended the use of booster doses for people who were vaccinated with both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

The CDC recommends booster doses for the following people who received the Moderna vaccine six months after receiving their second dose:

  • people who are 65 or older, or
  • people who live in a long-term care facility, or
  • people 18 and older with underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, or
  • people who live or work in a setting that puts them at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as healthcare workers and teachers.

The CDC also recommends anyone ages 18 and older who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a booster dose at least 2 months after they had their initial dose.

The CDC last month announced its recommendations for booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. As of October 20, more than 112,000 third doses of Pfizer vaccine have been administered to people in Utah.

“The data are clear, providing booster doses can help prevent COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). “With hospitals still operating at full capacity, and with the winter months just around the corner, the timing is right to seek out a booster dose if you qualify. It also remains critically important that people who haven’t been vaccinated go get their vaccine now.”

In addition, the CDC recommendation also allows  mixing-and-matching of COVID-19 vaccines to help provide greater flexibility and increased protection for people seeking booster shots. This authorization means people can receive a different type of booster vaccine than the type of vaccine they originally received.

“There are some data to suggest people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are better protected if they receive a booster of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” added Dr. Nolen. “Providing a booster that is a different vaccine brand than someone originally received offers greater flexibility for patients and providers. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster.. And providers should have an easier time managing inventory by being able to offer their patients different choices for boosters.”

The UDOH recommends vaccine providers throughout the state become familiar with the CDC’s recommendations and begin offering booster doses as soon as they are able.

The FDA has updated its fact sheets for healthcare providers and patients with information to reflect the authorization of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses.

The CDC also has updated information on this recommendation here.

To find locations throughout Utah that offer COVID-19 vaccines visit coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.