Western States Workgroup Approves Moderna and J & J boosters

Submitted by Washington State Governor Jay Insee

After reviewing the evidence concerning booster doses of the Moderna and Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID vaccines on Thursday, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup announced Friday it supports the recommendations for booster shots. To sustain protection against COVID-19, the Workgroup concurs with CDC recommendations for a single booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine among recipients of an initial series of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and recipients of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine

The Workgroup sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, Gov. Steve Sisolak, Nevada and Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon.

The Workgroup previously reviewed the evidence and recommendations pertaining to booster doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID19 vaccine.

“The COVID vaccines continue to offer very strong protection against severe illness and death and are saving lives every day. Now people who qualify to get a booster don’t have to be restricted to one brand of vaccine,” Inslee said. “They are able to get whichever is available to them and is best for them. This is a critical factor in finding our way out of this pandemic.”

Those who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are now eligible to receive a booster dose at six months or more after their initial series, while those who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID19 vaccine are eligible to receive a booster dose at two months or more after their initial dose.

1. Among recipients of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, those who should receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine include those at increased risk for hospitalization and severe disease, including those:
• Age 65 years and older
• Age 18 years and older residing in a long-term care facility, or
• Age 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities.

2. Among recipients of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, those who may receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine include persons:
• Age 18 through 49 years with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities, or
• Age 18 through 64 years who are risk for SARS-CoV-2 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting.

3. All those age 18 and older who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine should receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Workgroup has also strongly endorsed CDC’s recognition that long-standing systemic health and social inequities have increased the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The Workgroup therefore recommends again that social determinants of vulnerability be included in the assessment of conditions that qualify individuals for booster doses.

Individuals who have previously received an initial series of any of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or authorized for use in the United States are eligible for a booster dose. The Workgroup supports CDC’s decision that individuals eligible for a booster may receive either the same or a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose, depending on advice from a health care provider, individual preference, availability or convenience.

Read the full statement here.

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