After the CDC signed off on boosters for COVID vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and Moderna on Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday that Minnesota will begin offering the shots to eligible Minnesotans.
Until now, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine booster shots had been approved and available in Minnesota boosters, but now the other two main COVID vaccines have followed suit.
Minnesotans who got a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are advised to get a booster at least six months after their initial series if they are in the following categories:
- 65 years and older;
- Age 18 and older and live in long-term care settings;
- Age 18 and older and have underlying medical conditions;
- Age 18 and older and work or live in high-risk settings.
All Minnesotans aged 18 and over who got the Johnson & Johnson shot – which was less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna shots – are advised to get a booster shot at least two months after their initial vaccine.
What's more, Minnesotans are permitted to "mix and match" their vaccine boosters, so they can select which booster shot they receive out of the three, irrespective of what they initially got.
Those who initially got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine in particularly are advised to get either Moderna's half-dose or Pfizer's full-dose booster, as they offer mRNA protection that the original J&J shot didn't.
The Washington Post reports that experts say those who got the Pfizer and Moderna first time around can stick to the mRNA vaccines.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread widely in our communities, it is important to maintain that high level of protection from vaccination by getting your booster shot if one is recommended for you," said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.
"It is also incredibly important for all those who have not been vaccinated yet to get that initial protection. The more eligible people in our communities who are vaccinated, the more protection we have for young children and others not able to get vaccinated yet."