MORGANTOWN – Gov. Jim Justice and his team shared the news that boosters will now be offered for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines.
COVID-19 Czar Clay Marsh said the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has clarified the FDA’s earlier approval for boosters of both vaccines.
The Moderna booster, he said, will be for those age 65 and up who are six months past their second shot, or for those 18 and up who live in long-term care settings, who have underlying medical conditions or who work or live in high-risk settings.
The J&J will be for anyone 18 and up who’s two months past their sole shot of that one.
In addition, Marsh said, CDC says the vaccines can now be interchangeable. The CDC website says its “recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.”
Marsh encouraged people to get boosters when they’re eligible. “We know that boosters are a very important part of our strategy.”
Marsh said next week the FDA will be reviewing Pfizer’s positive data for COVID vaccines for ages 5-11. When approval is granted, he said, “We really want parents to very much consider choosing to vaccinate your children.”
A few can get severe or life-threatening illnesses, he said, but a higher number can get what’s called long COVID – meaning long term side effects from acquiring the virus.
“The more who are immunized the more we can create firewalls to prevent that rapid spread of COVID-19 that we’ve seen before.”
Earlier this week the Legislature passed Justice’s vaccine exemption bill spelling out how employees can obtain religious and medical exemptions. He noted that the Senate refused to make the bill effective from passage, so it won’t go into effect until January.
Until then, he said, if your employer says take the shot, “I would highly recommend you take the shot.”
But in respect of people’s rights and wishes, he said, “I hope that our employers will take heed, and I know they will. They’re trying to stop this dreaded disease, they’re trying to do what’s right.” But sometimes they don’t look at the smaller picture of people who want to keep their jobs.