Photo: VDH

(RICHMOND, Va.)— On November 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that all adults 18 years of age and older are now eligible to get a booster shot.This follows today’s authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of boosters for all adults who completed a 2-dose initial vaccine series of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

Previously, a booster was recommended at least six months after completion of the initial series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for those populations who are 65 years of age and older, those living in long-term care facilities, and those 18 years of age and up who are at increased risk due to underlying medical conditions or where they work or live. Now, any adult, 18 years and older, who is six months or more out from the second Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna dose can request and receive a booster dose. CDC continues to recommend that people aged 18 years or older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine receive a booster dose at least two months after being vaccinated.

With the CDC’s action, approximately 2.2 million Virginians are now eligible to receive a booster dose.

The following statement is from Virginia’s State Vaccination Liaison Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH.

“As more scientific data showing the effectiveness of a booster dose comes in, VDH welcomes this move by the CDC and FDA. These vaccines are incredibly safe and effective, but no vaccine prevents 100 percent of illness. All vaccines’ effectiveness wanes over time, and the data show a tangible benefit to people when they receive a vaccine booster.

“And with the holidays approaching and the weather turning colder, now is the perfect time to get vaccinated if you’re 5 years or older or get a booster dose if fully vaccinated and you’re 18 years or older. Because the flu season is here, we also urge that everyone aged 6 months or older get a separate flu vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine can be safely administered at the same time as the flu shot.

“VDH stands ready to provide boosters to any Virginia adult who wants one today. Supply is not an issue, and there are multiple venues open to you to get your booster: pharmacies, your healthcare provider, your local health department, Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) strategically located around the Commonwealth and other community vaccination events. We urge you to do so in order to move forward and out of this pandemic.”