Booster shot eligibility

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In a rapid approval of federal guidance on Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots, the Wyoming Department of Health has authorized both additional doses to protect the populace against COVID-19.

Like the Pfizer booster, which the Teton County Health Department has been doling out for the past month, the new Moderna booster is currently only recommended for the elderly and adults who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to their work or living arrangements, or who are at higher risk of severe infection due to underlying medical conditions.

All adults who received the J&J vaccine (at least two months ago) are encouraged to get a booster.

Most surprising in the suite of new federal approvals is the ability to get a booster from a different company than your original dose. For example, if you previously received the J&J shot, you can boost it with Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

That’s the most logical use of the “mix and match,” approach because preliminary studies suggest the J&J vaccine is less effective than the other two companies’ offerings.

A September study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 71% effective against hospitalization, compared with 88% for Pfizer and 93% for Moderna.

State and local health departments say it is safe to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine dose (including the booster) at the same time. They encourage anyone who has not yet gotten a first COVID-19 vaccine dose to do so.

The Moderna and J&J offerings will be available at the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole by appointment through the Health Department at TetonCountyWY.gov/covidvax.

On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the clinic is open 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. On Thursdays, it is open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Smith’s and Albertsons pharmacies are also expected to offer the new booster doses, with signups at Albertsons.com/pharmacy and SmithsFoodAndDrug.com/rx/guest/get-vaccinated.

Contact Evan Robinson-Johnson at 732-5901 or ERJ@jhnewsandguide.com.

Evan Robinson-Johnson covers issues residents face on a daily basis, from smoky skies to housing insecurity. Originally from New England, he has settled in east Jackson and avoids crowds by rollerblading through the alleyways.

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