Washington to start offering COVID booster shots immediately

The booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to certain people.

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — The Washington state Department of Health said Friday it will immediately start offering booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to certain people.

The move comes after recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices, and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, officials said in a news release.

At least six months after completing the primary Pfizer vaccine series, people age 65 and older, people 18 and older living in a long-term care setting, and people age 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities, should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, officials said.

Additionally, people age 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions and people 18 to 64 who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting — and who completed a Pfizer vaccine series at least six months ago — may receive a Pfizer booster dose, officials said.

“As COVID-19 continues to evolve, booster doses will further protect vaccinated people who are at high-risk and those whose protection has decreased over time,” Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah said.

There are not yet recommendations for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA will evaluate data in the coming weeks and may make additional recommendations for other vaccine types.

However, certain people who are immunocompromised can receive a third dose of an mRNA vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna, following recommendations last month from the FDA, Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices, and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

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