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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22, 2021
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup have endorsed the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations.
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at six months or more after their initial series:
For people who got the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
Pfizer and J&J’s boosters are both full doses, while Moderna’s booster is a half dose. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. According to the FDA and CDC, studies found “mixing and matching” boosters is safe and effective. This means your booster shot does not have to be the same COVID-19 vaccine type your primary vaccination was. For example, someone who received the J&J vaccine can receive a booster dose of J&J, Pfizer, or Moderna. Likewise, someone who received two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) can receive a Moderna, Pfizer, or J&J booster. People should talk with their healthcare provider if they have questions on which vaccine is best for them.
The FDA’s authorization and CDC’s recommendation for use are important steps forward as we work to stay ahead of the virus and keep our communities safe. However, this action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 200,000 eligible Snohomish County residents remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves–and their children, families, loved ones, and communities– vulnerable.
Available data right now 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 and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.
As for the anticipated expansion of Pfizer’s emergency use authorization to include children who are 5–11 years of age, there are multiple steps in the process before providers can begin administering the vaccines to this age group. The FDA scheduled an advisory committee meeting on Oct. 26 to inform the agency’s decision-making. The meeting will be livestreamed on FDA’s YouTube page (Oct. 26 meeting link), as well as their Facebook and Twitter channels.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has a meeting scheduled for Nov. 2-3 to discuss pediatric vaccines, but an agenda has not yet been released.
If you are eligible for a booster, please contact your healthcare provider or local pharmacy. For help finding a COVID vaccine near you:
The testing schedule for next week is as follows:
Appointments for testing are available at www.snohd.org/testing.
The Ash Way Park & Ride location is a dual site, splitting operations to be a vaccine site two days a week and testing only for three days. It will be offering vaccines only on Wednesday, Oct. 27 and Thursday, Oct. 29. The site will offer Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, as supplies allow. First, second, third, and booster doses will be available. Appointments are required and can be done online at www.snohd.org/drivethru.
Those without internet access, needing language assistance, or requiring additional support in scheduling can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing or vaccine appointment. The call center is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers after hours or on weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.