Interim Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses

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Interim Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses

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Minnesota Department of Health

October 22, 2021


This week, FDA issued authorization for booster doses of Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines. ACIP provided recommendations for these booster doses and included that any product may be used for that booster dose. Read more in CDC’s media statement: CDC Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shot. There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

Everyone age 18 and older who received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, should get a booster dose at least two months after the initial dose.

The recommendations for Moderna* booster doses are the same as those previously listed for Pfizer; the following groups should or may consider getting a booster:

  • 65 years and older.

*Note: the booster dose for Moderna vaccine is half the original dose, 0.25 mL instead of 0.5 mL. The half dose booster is the same vaccine and can be taken from the vials currently in the field. Maximum punctures for any one vial is 20 times whether drawing up full doses or half doses. Refer to the updated Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers.

The CDC will make specific guidance recommendations about booster doses in the Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the next several days. We will be updating our materials once these recommendations are published.

Providers may begin vaccinating

At this time, providers may begin administering booster doses to the appropriate populations when they are ready to do so. Continue to prioritize vaccinating those who have not been vaccinated or need their second dose.

Definition of fully vaccinated

 People are still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completion of their primary vaccine series (i.e., two-dose mRNA vaccine series or a single dose of the Janssen vaccine). This definition applies to all people, including those who are eligible to receive an additional dose as recommended for moderate to severely immunocompromised people, and those who are eligible to receive a booster dose.

Verify that it’s appropriate to administer a booster dose

Vaccinators should check a person’s age, what vaccine they received for their primary series, and the correct dose interval for that product, before administering a booster dose. This information can be verified by checking the Minnesota Immunization Information Center (MIIC). After giving a booster dose, make sure to update the patient’s vaccine card if they brought it, or give them a new one reflecting all doses of COVID-19 vaccine they have received.

Continue to vaccinate the unvaccinated

People who have been fully vaccinated with any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines continue to have good protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death, including the Delta variant. CDC and ACIP emphasized that the population most vulnerable to COVID-19 is unvaccinated. The nation’s priority should remain getting everyone fully vaccinated with a primary series.

Continue all prevention measures

The Delta variant is highly infectious and contributing to increasing COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. Preventive measures for COVID-19 (including vaccination, wearing a mask, and social distancing) continue to be important to decrease community spread and protect those who cannot be vaccinated or who don’t respond to the vaccine. Read more at CDC How to Protect Yourself & Others.

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