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MSDH encourages booster doses for eligible population

MSDH Vaccine Site
Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

During a press conference this afternoon, officials with the Mississippi State Department of Health offered clarity on the eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. 

While continuing to encourage Mississippians to get their first dose, especially ahead of the holidays, State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers shared the booster dose criteria for those who have received both doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago. 

  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Adults aged 18 and older with certain underlying medical conditions 
  • Adults aged 18 and older in high risk settings that increase their risk of exposure:
      • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
      • Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
      • Food and agriculture workers
      • Manufacturing workers
      • Corrections workers
      • U.S. Postal Service workers
      • Public transit workers
      • Grocery store workers

Pfizer boosters have been available at MSDH county health departments and Moderna shots will be available starting Monday. Make your appointments, here. 

As for Johnson & Johnson, the criteria for a booster changes. 

“Anyone 18 and older who was vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine at least two months ago is eligible for a booster.”

Johnson & Johnson boosters are not available at MSDH county health departments. Officials say that “mixing and matching” vaccines is allowable. 

The MSDH is preparing for the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5-11. 

Both Dr. Byers and Director of Health Protection Jim Craig expressed optimism as COVID-19 indicators such as daily case counts, deaths, and hospitalizations continue on a downward trend after the peaks of the Delta surge. 

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