WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Veterans Affairs is now offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine booster shots under Emergency Use Authorization, expanding on last month’s authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.
This decision follows this week’s Food and Drug Administration’s authorization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for a booster dose using the Moderna or J&J vaccines.
“Booster shots are an important step forward in the fight against COVID-19,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “With the authorization of additional COVID-19 vaccine booster options, VA is helping more Veterans maximize their protection, continuing our work to keep people safe and save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
VA will follow CDC guidance in offering COVID-19 booster shots:
For individuals who completed a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at least 6 months after their second dose:
•65 years and older.
•Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings.
•Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions.
•Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings.
People 18 years and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot at least 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine.
Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
The safety and care of Veterans is VA’s top priority, as well as ensuring the health and welfare of its workforce. Many sites in VA are open for walk-ins during hours when vaccine clinics are operational, and where booster vaccines are available. Booster shots are being offered to Veterans receiving care at VA and employees. VA is also offering the booster to Veterans, their spouses, caregivers and CHAMPVA recipients under the authority of the SAVE LIVES Act, as supply and capacity permits. The Save Lives Act which was signed into law in March 2021 expanded VA’s authority to offer vaccine to include Veterans not traditionally eligible for VHA care, and others including spouses and caregivers of Veterans.
CDC advises that people can get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. Veterans receiving care at VA who wish to get a booster shot can get both shots together during the same visit.
Veterans who would like additional information can visit the VA COVID-19 vaccines webpage, visit their local facility’s website or contact their care team. Visit VA’s Questions webpage for questions and answers regarding COVID-19 vaccine.