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Health & Science

All 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Now Available In West Virginia

Advanced registered nurse practitioner Erin Forsythe administers the COVID-19 vaccine in Seattle, Washington.
Advanced registered nurse practitioner Erin Forsythe administers the COVID-19 vaccine in Seattle, Washington.

More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated. 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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky officially signed off Thursday on recommendations making boosters available from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

At the governor’s regular coronavirus briefing, Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus czar, said boosters are an important part of the state’s strategy to reduce the risk, especially for vulnerable populations. But, he added, first vaccinations are still lagging.

Now we can give boosters to everybody who has been vaccinated before,” he said, “And if you've not chosen to be vaccinated yet, please do so.”

Gov. Jim Justice reported another 44 deaths Friday, bringing the total to 4,263 West Virginians who have died from COVID-19. Less than 51 percent of the state has been fully vaccinated — one of the lowest rates in the nation.

The official vaccine booster guidelines from the CDC are:

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 the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

Eligible individuals may also choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. The CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix-and-match dosing for booster shots.

Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, today’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine, state officials reiterated.


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