FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE– December 10, 2021
Melissa Gordon, Vaccinate Virginia, Melissa.Gordon@vdh.virginia.gov
VDH Ready to Implement Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommendation of Pfizer-BioNTech Booster for Persons 16-17 Years of Age
(RICHMOND, VA) – Following the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that persons ages 16 through 17 years of age be eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination booster, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has given the go-ahead for administration of those booster doses in the Commonwealth.
“This is great news for the Commonwealth’s efforts to vaccinate as much of the state’s eligible population against COVID-19 as possible,” said State Vaccination Liaison Danny TK Avula, M.D., M.P.H. “Expanding the ranks of those eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose in particular adds another 79,508 people to the eligible population which, in turn, will add to the strength of the line of defense we have against the spread of COVID-19.”
The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Aug. 23, 2021. Marketed under the name of Comirnaty, it is approved for persons 16 years of age and older. On Nov. 19, 2021, the CDC recommended that all persons 18 years of age and older who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccine get a booster dose at least six months after they complete their two-dose primary series. The CDC also recommends anyone 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine receive a booster dose two months after they complete their single-dose primary series.
Boosters are available at a number of venues throughout the Commonwealth, including pharmacies, physicians’ offices, Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs), mobile clinics, and other sites as set up by local health districts throughout the state.
Those who are unvaccinated remain at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. This population remains VDH’s top priority. Everyone 5 years or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines at a Community Vaccination Center or another location near you, 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. At Community Vaccination Centers, appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure you get the vaccine you want and to avoid extended wait times, but walk-ins are welcome.