Eligibility expands for Pfizer, Moderna booster shots to all 18 and older
Booster doses sustain protection against COVID-19, especially for individuals at higher risk for hospitalization, severe illness
Nov. 24, 2021 — On Nov. 20, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed its review of the federal process and has recommended expanding Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster dose eligibility to all individuals 18 or older who have completed their primary vaccination series. Individuals who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines should receive a booster dose after at least six months. Individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive a booster dose after two months. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington today.
"Starting (Saturday), every adult who wants a booster will be able to get one,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “Vaccines are our pathway out of this pandemic. I'm committed to ensuring our most vulnerable Oregonians are protected from COVID-19, and ensuring equitable access to boosters and the extra layer of protection they provide. If you still have questions about getting vaccinated, call your doctor or health care provider today to get your questions answered.”
The Oregon Health Authority has informed health care providers that the administration of booster doses for individuals 18 and older can begin.
The Workgroup concurred with FDA and CDC recommendations for booster doses:
- All individuals ages 50 years and older or residing in a long-term care facility should receive a booster.
- All individuals ages 18-49 years may receive a booster.
Because unvaccinated individuals remain at much higher risk of COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated, the Workgroup continued to strongly support vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone 5 years of age and older.
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized expanding booster shot eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and the CDC affirmed that decision. The Workgroup reviewed and affirmed the federal decisions in meetings Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October of last year. The Workgroup, made up of nationally-acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom stated, “As we approach the winter season and another potential surge, it’s critical that people get their booster to strengthen their immunity and protect themselves from COVID-19 — (last week’s) federal announcement is critical to these efforts. It’s simple: all adults who are vaccinated need to go out and get their booster, period.”
In Oregon, people can learn more at coronavirus.oregon.gov, covidvaccine.oregon.gov, lanecounty.org/coronavirus and lanecounty.org/vaxclinics.