By Diane Lee
The Garrett County Health Department is now able to schedule both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 boosters based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s revised emergency use authorization and guidance from the Maryland Department of Health. Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters can be scheduled once a supply is received.
“The availability of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine has gotten confusing for the public because of the different versions and swiftly changing recommendations,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “Fortunately, we are now able to schedule COVID-19 booster vaccinations using the guidelines provided to us by the FDA and MDH. Our priority is still to encourage individuals who are not yet vaccinated to schedule a vaccine as soon as possible. The unvaccinated are at highest risk of having a poor outcome if infected and being vaccination is the best way to protect our friends and family from spreading this virus.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acted to expand the use of a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines in eligible populations. The agency amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines to include recommendations for both Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
The EUA now allows for the use of a single booster dose as follows:
• The use of a single booster dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals:v
➢ 65 years of age and older
➢ 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19
➢ 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19
• The use of a single booster dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older. NOTE: Anytime a person receives J&J, they are eligible for a booster after 2 months. Regardless of which booster is chosen, anyone who received J&J as their initial vaccine is eligible for a booster at 2 months.
• The use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a booster dose in eligible individuals regardless of which vaccine they received as their primary vaccination.
If you fall into one of the categories that makes you eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccination, visit garretthealth.org or call 301-334-7697 to schedule an appointment.