On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2021, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a single dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for adults over 65 years, adults 18-64 at high risk of developing severe COVID-19, and adults 18-64 that have occupational or residential high risk for COVID-19 due to exposure who completed a primary two dose series of Moderna at least six months prior. The FDA also authorized a booster dose of the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 years and older who completed a single dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least two months prior. In addition, the FDA authorized the use of a different approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine brand or type for any anyone eligible for a boost dose.
On Oct. 22, 2021, the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practice (ACIP) voted 15-0 to recommend the Moderna 50 µg (half dose) booster dose for adults 18 and older at least 6 months after the second dose of the primary series for the same risk groups recommended for the Pfizer booster:
“A single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended greater than or equal to 6 months after completion of an mRNA primary series, in the same risk groups for whom CDC recommended a booster of Pfizer-BioNTech, under FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.” In a second vote, the ACIP voted 15-0 to recommend the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson booster dose for all adults 18 and older who received the J&J primary series at least 2 months after the initial dose: “A single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons aged 18 years and older, greater than or equal to 2 months after receipt of the initial Janssen dose, under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.”
Upon review of the ACIP recommendations, the CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH issued the following recommendations:
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:
• 65 years and older
• Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
• Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
• Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
For all people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is authorizing COVID-19 enrolled providers to begin using the above CDC recommendations for booster doses as the updated guide for provision of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine in their clinics.
All efforts should be made to confirm completion of the primary COVID-19 vaccine series using patient vaccination cards, electronic medical records, KS-WebIZ or other data sources. In the absence of this documentation, patient self-attestation may be used. Currently available data show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself, reduce the spread of the virus to others, and help prevent new variants from emerging.
The following is attributable to Dr. Walensky:
“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19. The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe – as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”
Providers who have questions may contact the Kansas Immunization Program at [email protected] .