Appointments for Pfizer, Moderna and Jannsen (J&J) booster shots are now available to the Boise community through the Boise State Vaccination Clinic.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sanctioned the use of Moderna and J&J boosters; Pfizer received its booster authorization in late September.
In this same drove of endorsements, the FDA also approved the mixing of COVID vaccines, meaning those eligible for a booster can receive a dose different from their initial vaccination. At this time, data from booster trials indicates that mixing doses is both safe and effective.
According to Jason Carter, manager of the Boise State Vaccination Clinic, anyone 18 years or older with “frequent institutional or occupational exposure” to COVID-19, including college students, are eligible to receive booster shots through the clinic as soon as they pass the required waiting period.
Those vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna must wait six months following their second dose to receive a booster, while those who received the J&J single-shot vaccine are eligible for a booster two months after their initial vaccination.
Individuals who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are currently unable to receive a booster shot. However, in line with CDC guidance, those who only received a partial dose of AstraZeneca can begin a new vaccine series, meaning they will be vaccinated fully using one of the three doses currently approved for use within the United States.
Carter stated that Moderna has proven to be the most effective against the delta variant, currently the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States. However, Moderna and J&J boosters also significantly improve protection against the virus.
According to Carter, informal data collected from Boise State’s own antibody studies on campus showed a decline in the subjects’ COVID-19 antibodies after six months. As a result, booster shots may be necessary to help prolong individual immunity and further mitigate the virus’ spread.
“I’ve seen several people that don’t even have antibodies registering six months after being fully vaccinated,” Carter said. “That’s why we’re doing the booster … we don’t know how long these vaccines are going to last, and we think booster shots are going to give a much longer immunity for it.”
Individuals can receive a booster through the Boise State Vaccination Clinic regardless of whether they received their initial shot(s) at a different vaccination site. Additionally, those who are unable to present their COVID-19 vaccination card at the time of their appointment will still be permitted to get a booster.
Within the coming weeks, the clinic will also begin administering pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. Pediatric doses have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA, but are currently awaiting final approval by the CDC.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, visit https://www.boisestate.edu/coronavirus-response/vaccination-clinic/vaccination-appointments/