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Review Group Gives Thumbs Up For Booster Shots

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 two months after their first shot. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

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.

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 this past week.

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.

“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,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “It’s simple, all adults who are vaccinated need to go out and get their booster, period.”