The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently approved booster shots for certain U.S. citizens, and Hamilton and Boone counties have begun administering them to eligible Hoosiers.
On Oct. 20, the FDA expanded the use of boosters in eligible populations, authorizing Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s, in addition to Pfizer’s, which had been authorized in September. Two days later, the Indiana State Dept. of Health announced it would begin offering Moderna and J&J boosters to eligible residents.
“The booster shots were approved to help with waning immunity, which means that folks’ immunity is starting to taper off over time, and this is to help get them up to that high level of protection to ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard folks from the severe effects of COVID,” Hamilton County Health Dept. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Christian Walker said.
A “mix-and-match approach” has been approved by the FDA and CDC, meaning eligible residents can receive a booster shot from the manufacturer of their choosing. It does not have to be the same one they received previously.
“If you got Pfizer before, you can choose to get Pfizer again as well as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson,” Walker said. “The same holds true for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.”
Although some initial studies show Moderna and Pfizer’s boosters have produced more significant protection than J&J’s, the HCHD won’t recommend a specific manufacturer, Walker said.
Hamilton County has 52 vaccination sites, Walker said, although some only offer one type of booster. The HCHD and Fishers Health Dept. offer all three.
The Boone County Health Dept. also is administering booster shots, BCHD Public Educator Claire Haughton said. But the department’s vaccination clinic is closed until Nov. 3.
Appointments for booster shots can be made at ourshot.in.gov.