The state Department of Health Services supports the recommendation that anyone 18 and older receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after having received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) or Moderna vaccine. All adults are now eligible to receive booster doses, and booster doses are strongly recommended for everyone 50 and older, who are at the greatest risk for severe disease.

“The approval of vaccine booster doses for all adults is an opportunity for more Wisconsinites to get additional protection from COVID-19,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “The COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool for preventing the worst outcomes and slowing the spread of COVID-19, which is essential as many folks plan to gather together for the upcoming holiday season. We encourage everyone ages 18 and older to join the over 840,000 Wisconsinites who have already gotten their booster or additional COVID-19 vaccine dose.”

The decision by the CDC extends eligibility for a booster dose to everyone 18 and up at least 6 months after they received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. People who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible for a booster dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. For the people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended by the CDC for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

The CDC’s recommendations now also allow for mix-and-match dosing for booster doses. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster.

“Getting everyone vaccinated continues to be our top priority for preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist for DHS. “Too many of us remain unprotected going into the winter season. Getting a booster dose when it’s time to do so, and continuing to get our children 5 and older vaccinated will slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”

Getting vaccinated is about protection. Given that evidence suggests immunity is waning over time for some people who were initially well-protected by the vaccine, the booster dose can strengthen and extend their protection against infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider in your community, visit Vaccines.gov, or call 211 or 877-947-2211. For additional information about booster doses, additional doses, and help accessing your COVID-19 vaccine record to determine when you may be recommended for a booster, visit the DHS Additional Doses and Booster Doses webpage.

With the high-level of disease transmission in Wisconsin, DHS continues to urge everyone who is not vaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and for all people to add additional layers of protection including masking up indoors, staying home when feeling sick, and avoiding large indoor gatherings.

DHS has also updated the COVID-19 vaccine administration dashboard on the COVID-19 vaccine data webpage. The expanded dashboard displays new data on additional and booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The administration tab now includes a section showing the cumulative number of additional and booster COVID-19 vaccine doses administered and reported to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) by Wisconsin vaccine providers. Like the COVID-19 vaccine administration data in the other half of the dashboard, this includes doses administered to people who reside out-of-state, but were vaccinated in Wisconsin or residents vaccinated in Michigan or Minnesota. Data also detail the administered doses by each vaccine product and total additional and booster doses administered in Wisconsin by day. The by-day metrics contain a seven-day average trend line to help smooth out day-to-day fluctuations in vaccine administration.

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. You can also follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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