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Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Now Available; Recommendations Allow Individuals to Choose Type of Vaccine for Booster Dose

Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced today that Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now available and recommended as follows:

Moderna A single booster dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at six months or more after the completion of the primary series to: Anyone age 65 or older; Anyone age 18 or older who lives in a long-term care setting; Anyone age 18 or older who has an underlying medical condition; and Anyone age 18 or older who lives or works in high-risk settings.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) A single booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine may be administered two months or more after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to: Anyone age 18 or older.

"This is an important step in our efforts to beat COVID-19 and keep Rhode Islanders healthy," said Governor Dan McKee. "Rhode Island's vaccination team has done the work to ensure we're prepared to get these booster shots in arms as soon as possible. I received my booster shot a few weeks ago, and I encourage eligible Rhode Islanders to do the same. Vaccination is key to our recovery."

This announcement comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an additional emergency use authorization for the administration of booster doses of the Moderna vaccine and for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine on October 20, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided final guidance and endorsement on October 21 after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to vote on guidance and clinical recommendations. Rhode Island's practice is to wait for both of these decisions prior to opening availability of vaccine to those who are eligible.

There are now recommendations for booster doses for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which type (manufacturer) of vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may want to get the same vaccine type that they originally got. Others may choose to get a different type of vaccine for their booster. CDC's recommendations now allow this "mix and match" for booster shots. (All doses in the primary vaccination series must still be the same type of vaccine.)

"We know that vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "Anyone who is eligible for a booster dose should make an appointment to get one. If you have a question about what type of vaccine to get for a booster dose, talk to your primary care provider about the choice that is best for you."

Moderna and J&J booster doses are available to eligible Rhode Islanders as of October 22. Booster doses of Pfizer vaccine have been available since September 24 and will continue to be available. Eligibility for a booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is as follows:

A single booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at least six months after the completion of the primary series to: Anyone age 65 or older; Anyone age 18 or older who lives in a long-term care setting; Anyone age 18 or older who has an underlying medical condition; and Anyone age 18 or older who lives or works in high-risk settings.

Eligible Rhode Islanders can now make appointments for all three types of booster doses by visiting VaccinateRI.org or calling 844-930-1779. You can also learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and where to find appointments at C19VaccineRI.org.We expect small changes in the online systems for registration in the coming days to reflect new eligibility and thank Rhode Islanders in advance for their patience. Individuals will be asked to self-attest that they are eligible to receive booster doses.

RIDOH continues to work directly with nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other congregate care settings to ensure access to booster doses.

If you are unable to leave your home, you can request services for in-home booster doses. Please visit this link for more information:?https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination#athome

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