Following the federal government’s announcement opening up COVID-19 boosters to all adults, Virginia said it is ready to give boosters to any resident who wants one and supply is not an issue.
The Virginia Department of Health said it welcomes the move by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on Friday in an effort to ward of a winter surge of coronavirus surges.
“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,” Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccination coordinator, said in a statement.
Before the U.S.’ announcement, those who were eligible to get booster varied by age, their health and which kind of vaccine they got first. The expansion makes tens of millions more Americans eligible for an extra dose, and in Virginia approximately 2.2 million are now eligible to get a booster shot.
The FDA authorized changes to Pfizer and Moderna boosters to make it easier. Anyone 18 and older can choose either the Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their last dose. If you got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC recommends a booster at least two months after being vaccinated. People can also mix-and-match boosters from any company.
Avula encouraged people 5 years or older to get vaccinated and those who are fully vaccinated and are 18 years and older to get a booster.
“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,” Avula said. This includes pharmacies, your doctor, your local health department, community vaccination centers and other vaccination events.
In addition, Avula is also urging those 6 months or older to get a separate flu vaccine, which he said can be safely administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.
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