Hunterdon County’s Department of Health is presently administering COVID-19 booster vaccinations for those who are immunocompromised and is preparing for a wider distribution of vaccine when authorized by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren reported at the Commissioner Board’s Sept. 7th meeting.
Van Doren, the board’s liaison for the Health Department, reported, “We are advised that qualification for the booster vaccination from the county Health Department includes having received the Moderna vaccine at least eight months ago and being immunocompromised. Booster shots can be arranged through the County’s COVID-19 webpage or by calling 908 788-1351.” Van Doren added, “Third vaccinations cannot yet be administered to all who have previously been vaccinated. The Health Department, however, is preparing to re-open the county’s drive through vaccination clinic at the Route 12 Complex, during the week of Sept. 20th, if given the go ahead by the FDA and other agencies for third vaccinations for those who previously received the Moderna vaccine.
Van Doren said, “Health officials advise that there must be at least an eight-month gap before receiving the third vaccination and that only those who received the Moderna vaccine can receive the booster from the county clinic. As the County has never been issued the Pfizer vaccine the Health Department Director Karen DeMarco advises there can be no mixing and matching of vaccines. Those who received the Pfizer vaccine must seek that vaccination elsewhere. There presently is also not a booster for those who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.”
President Biden announced that third vaccinations for all would be available starting the week of September 20th. However, before a third vaccinations can be administered, the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee must approve a booster vaccination. That Committee is scheduled to meet Sept. 17. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also must recommend the booster vaccination.
Van Doren noted, “There have also been reports in the media that the federal government may only authorize the booster for those who have received the Pfizer shot, so please stay tuned.”