Covid Booster Shots OK’d for All Oregonian Adults

Everyone 18 and older in Oregon is now eligible for a booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, after scientists and regulatory experts in four states reviewed and approved the extra jab Saturday morning.

The decision by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup — which reviews Covid-19 vaccine safety and efficacy for Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada — expands eligibility for booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to all individuals 18 or older who have completed their primary series.

Individuals who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are recommended to get a booster dose after at least six months. Individuals who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive a booster dose after two months.

The Oregon Health Authority informed health care providers Saturday that the administration of booster doses for all adults can begin immediately.

“Starting today, every adult who wants a booster will be able to get one,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a statement. “Vaccines are our pathway out of this pandemic.

“I’m committed to ensuring our most vulnerable Oregonians are protected from Covid-19, and ensuring equitable access to boosters and the extra layer of protection they provide. If you still have questions about getting vaccinated, call your doctor or health care provider today to get your questions answered.”

Previously, only Oregonians who are 65 or older, long-term care residents or 50 or older with underlying medical conditions were eligible for third shots in the Pfizer and Moderna series — though all of those who had received Johnson & Johnson were still encouraged to get the extra dose.

But on Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized expanding booster shot eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and the CDC affirmed that decision later that day. The workgroup reviewed and affirmed the federal decisions in meetings Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Because unvaccinated individuals remain at much higher risk of Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated, the workgroup continued to strongly support vaccination for everyone 5 years of age and older.

Call your provider or visit Get Vaccinated Oregon to find a vaccine location near you with booster doses available.

Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined California’s Covid-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October 2020. The workgroup, made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to Covid-19 vaccines.

It will continue to evaluate other Covid-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process. The group’s recommendations have never meaningfully differed from those of federal health agencies like the FDA and CDC.

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