NJ will move forward with plans to administer boosters to seniors, immunocompromised

The FDA's decision to not immediately approve COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for widespread use has partially halted the Murphy administration’s plans to offer a third dose of the vaccine to vaccinated residents.

News 12 Staff

Sep 20, 2021, 11:06 PM

Updated 934 days ago

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The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to not immediately approve COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for widespread use has partially halted the Murphy administration’s plans to offer a third dose of the vaccine to vaccinated residents. But Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials are still preparing a push to administer boosters for people who are age 65 and older and to those who are immunocompromised.
“We have enough supply, so we hope, and we’re prepared to give it,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said on Monday.
The FDA announced its decision to not approve booster shots for the general public last week.
“These committees look at as much data as they have and they make recommendations to FDA, to CDC, based on what they have,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan.
The state had plans to reopen mega vaccination sites for the public to administer the boosters. But now those shots will be given to those who are 65 and older and those with underlying conditions.
“If you are immunocompromised, you can get a third dose,” Persichilli said.
The governor and health commissioner said that senior citizens who received their first two doses of the Pfizer shot at home can look forward to getting their booster in the same way.
“They will continue to be served by the provider who administered their initial series,” Persichilli said.
The CDC rules for vaccinating people in high-risk settings could mean inmates in the state's prisons may receive third doses before healthy adults under 65, along with those who work in correctional facilities.
“It’s corrections officers, its police officers, counselors, medical personnel,” Murphy said.
Persichilli said that even under the more limited authorization, over a million state residents are eligible for a third Pfizer dose, to continue stopping the spread of OCVID-19.
“Is this something we're going to have to live with for the foreseeable future? I think the answer is yes. I think the answer is yes,” Murphy said.
Persichilli said it is likely the first mega site to reopen will be the one in Gloucester County.


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