FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 15, 2021
Media Contact: Maria Reppas, VDH Communications Director
Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Liaison Dr. Danny Avula on FDA Advisory Committee Vote on Moderna, J&J Booster Doses
(Richmond, Va.) – This week, an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted in favor of recommending booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines.
The Moderna booster is recommended at least six months after completion of the Moderna primary series for those populations who are 65 years of age and older, those living in long-term care facilities, and those 18 years of age and up who are at increased risk due to underlying medical conditions or where they work or live. The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen booster is recommended for those 18 years of age and up, at least two months after the initial Johnson & Johnson/Janssen dose. This is simply a recommendation at this point, and booster doses for these vaccines will not be available in Virginia until the FDA issues an updated authorization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues new guidance. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to meet October 20-21, and we do not expect CDC to release recommendations until after that meeting.
The following statement is from Virginia’s state vaccination liaison Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH on this development.
“Today’s recommendation by the FDA’s advisory panel is a major step toward the goal of making booster vaccinations available to Virginians who have completed either a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine series. We at the Virginia Department of Health are excited by this recommendation and await action by the FDA and the final decision by the CDC in the very near future on booster availability. The CDC’s own advisory panel meets October 20-21.”
“In the meantime, VDH will continue our planning efforts with pharmacies, providers, Community Vaccination Centers, hospitals and other partners to ensure that once the CDC issues guidance, eligible Virginians will be able to access a booster dose.”
Those who are unvaccinated remain at the highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. Everyone 12 or older who lives or works in Virginia is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines nearby, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.