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State vaccination liaison urges medical consult before booster mix-and-match

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:12 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia’s state vaccination liaison is urging medical consultations for anyone considering getting a COVID booster shot by mixing and matching vaccines.

October 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced recommendations for booster shots for certain people who previously received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration approved a mix-and-match the day before. Both boosters are available in Virginia.

“If you decide to get a booster dose by mixing and matching, VDH urges you to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider who can assist you in making the best decision for your own situation,” says Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH. “We also stress that all three vaccines authorized for administration in the United States are highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death.”

The Virginia Department of Health says for people who received the a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, a single booster is recommended at least six months after completion of their initial series for people who are at least 65 years old, people 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.

A single booster is recommended at least two months after completion of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines for those 18 years of age and up.

The CDC also announced there are now booster recommendations for all three available vaccines in the United States. People eligible for a booster vaccine may choose which vaccine to receive for their boosters.

Avula continues, “VDH has been working with our vaccination partners — pharmacies, healthcare providers, hospitals and other institutions — to prepare for the booster rollout. In addition to these vaccination partners, Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) are strategically located across the Commonwealth to ensure Virginians will be able to access a booster dose when it’s recommended.  The move by the CDC to allow vaccine recipients to ‘mix and match’ vaccines for their boosters gives Virginians another level of choice in protecting themselves from COVID-19.”

Everyone 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines at a Community Vaccination Center or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682. TTY users call 7-1-1).

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