Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots and Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) COVID-19 Vaccine Full FDA Approval 8-23-2021
As COVID-19 cases have been on the rise and with the emergence of new variants of concern, such as the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), the Catalina Island Health has received questions about when booster shots will be made available. It is expected that we will be able to offer booster shots in September to eligible individuals. However, this timeline is subject to authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendation by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
The ACIP is meeting Monday, August 30th, 2021, to discuss the updated recommendations for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (now being marketed under the name Comirnaty), which has just been granted full FDA approval after previously being available under Emergency Use Authorization.
We will keep the community updated regarding booster shots as we learn more. In the meantime, please refer to the FAQ below for more information:
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
Once the FDA authorizes the vaccine booster and the dose is recommended by the ACIP, it will be available for individuals starting eight months after they received their second dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), with priority given to those who are most at risk.
Who will be eligible for the booster first?
The same groups of people that were first eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine will likely be the first eligible to receive the booster shot. This includes healthcare providers, older adults, and residents of long-term care facilities.
Is there a difference between a booster dose and an additional dose?
Additional Dose: The CDC has recommended an additional (third) dose for moderately to severely immunocompromised people. The additional dose should be administered at least 28 days after completing the initial 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. Individuals with compromised immune systems should consult their healthcare provider about their medical condition to see if an additional dose of the vaccine is appropriate.
Booster Dose: A booster dose is for individuals that have built enough protection after the initial vaccine series but need a boost due to waning immunity (a decrease in protection over time), currently marked at eight months after receiving the second shot in the initial series.
Do I need a booster shot if I received Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Vaccine?
A booster dose will likely be needed for those who have received the J&J/Janssen vaccine, but we are waiting for more information from the FDA and CDC, and we will keep the community informed as we learn more in the coming weeks.
As we await news about booster shots, CI Health encourages everyone to continue taking precautions and following local mask mandates to protect themselves and others.