The Lead

Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters now available in Pa., Health Dept. says

By: and - October 22, 2021 4:43 pm

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster vaccinations are now available to Pennsylvanians, state health officials said  Friday. 

The news comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the use of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters earlier this week. 

The three vaccines against COVID-19 “are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating delta variant,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said in a statement Thursday night.

Boosters for the Pfizer vaccine were approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration and CDC last month. 

A Pfizer study released Thursday showed that a booster dose of the company’s vaccine was 95.6 percent effective in the trial of more than 10,000 participants.

“Vaccine providers across Pennsylvania have supplies of all three safe and effective vaccines ready to administer booster shots today to those who are eligible,” acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a statement Friday. 

Currently, Pennsylvanians who meet the following criteria are eligible for a booster vaccination:

  • It’s been at least six months since your initial series of two doses, and you are one of the following:
  • Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to get a booster, if it’s been at least two months since their initial dose.

The department confirmed that eligible Pennsylvanians can receive any brand for their booster dose, regardless of the brand of their first dose. 

“These vaccines remain our best strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Beam said. “If you are fully vaccinated you still have protection. Getting a booster dose will increase your level of defense.” 

The newly authorized booster shots come as the sharp spike in infections and deaths caused by that delta variant has begun to wane.

But the country is still seeing about 75,000 new cases every day, and about 1,300 COVID-19-related deaths, according to CDC tracking data.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller was the associate editor at the Capital-Star.

Laura Olson
Laura Olson

Laura Olson covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.