Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated guidelines for COVID-19 booster vaccines, expanding eligibility to all adults over 18 years of age who have completed their primary series.
In advance of the holiday season, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is encouraging all adults (18 years and older) who are eligible to receive a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to do so.
Booster shots are recommended for adults who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago or received one dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
Individuals may “mix and match” COVID-19 boosters following a primary series. The NDDoH has created a Mix and Match Booster Fact Sheet to help individuals decide which vaccine is best for them as a booster. The NDDoH has also created a graphic to help people quickly identify their eligibility for a booster on the time since their last COVID-19 vaccine.
“COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool for preventing serious outcomes and slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Molly Howell, Immunization Director for the NDDoH. “I would encourage all North Dakotans who are eligible to receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to do so. This is especially important as many North Dakotans plan to travel and gather together for the upcoming holiday season.”
Last week, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) expanded recommendations for booster shots to include all adults. “After critical scientific evaluation, today’s unanimous decision carefully considered the current state of the pandemic, the latest vaccine effectiveness data over time, and review of safety data from people who have already received a COVID-19 primary vaccine series and booster,” said Dr. Walensky. “Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays.”
Over 69% of adults in North Dakota have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The encourages those who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, loved ones and communities.
Residents of North Dakota are encouraged to speak with their health care provider or local pharmacist if they have questions about vaccines or boosters. For more information on vaccine locations, visit www.health.nd.gov/covid-vaccine-locator.