Booster Dose Updates

As part of a multi-step process, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel met October 14 and 15. The panel recommended a booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for those 65 years and older and for those 18-64 years old who are higher risk due to underlying medical conditions, occupational exposure, or because they live in an institution. The panel recommended a Moderna booster that is half the dosage of the vaccine used for the primary series of the shot. FDA advisors also recommended a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for those 18 years and older and who had their first dose more than two months ago.

In the days ahead, the FDA will decide whether to adopt the recommendations of its advisory panel and, if so, will modify the Emergency Use Authorization for those vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will then meet to discuss boosters for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and make recommendations on who will be eligible and specify the timeframe. The CDC director then will issue recommendations based on the advisory committee guidance and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will provide additional implementation guidance to health departments and providers in the Commonwealth.

This sequence of steps ensures strong independent scientific review as part of the regulatory and recommendation process.

NOTE: Until each of these steps are completed, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses will not be available.

Find more information about current vaccination eligibility for Pfizer booster dose(s) at https://bit.ly/3G8pDrz.

In the Fairfax Health District, more than 45,000 residents have received an additional dose or a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination Opportunities for Children, Ages 5-11

The FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet October 26 to discuss the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5–11 years old. If the FDA authorizes the vaccine for this age group, the CDC advisory committee would meet followed by CDC making recommendations and additional VDH guidance on implementation.

If authorized, children ages 5-11 will receive two 10-microgram doses, which is one third of the amount given to those 12 years old and older. Despite the lower dose, vaccinated 5- to 11-year-olds produce similar antibody levels as adults who received the higher dose. Vaccine doses are expected to be given 21 days apart.

The Health Department already is making plans to be ready for when the vaccine is recommended for 5–11-year-old children. Sites delivering the vaccine will include pediatrics and family medicine practices, pharmacies, the Community Vaccination Center in Tysons, the Fairfax County Government Center, and Health Department clinics. In addition, the Health Department is collaborating with schools and community partners to provide targeted pop-up clinics during November and December. The school-located clinics will provide opportunities for families to bring their children to a school site for vaccination outside of school hours.

Planning is Under Way

The Health Department is actively planning and preparing for the authorization of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses and vaccinations for children ages 5-11. Additional information and details will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

When FDA, CDC, and VDH guidelines are in place, we encourage residents to visit www.vaccines.gov to find a nearby location offering COVID-19 vaccines. In the Fairfax Health District, FCHD plans to have three mass vaccination sites:

• Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, 22035

• South County Government Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, 22309

• Tysons Community Vaccination Center, 7950 Tysons Corner Center, Tysons

If you plan to visit the Tysons Community Vaccination Center, appointments are highly encouraged to reduce wait times, but walk-ins are welcome. To find an appointment, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 711). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.

Have vaccine questions? Contact the Fairfax County COVID-19 Call Center at 703-324-7404 or find up-to-date COVID-19 Vaccine information in the Fairfax Health District at https://bit.ly/3ncQWZq.

Stay Informed About COVID-19

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, please call 703-324-7404. Call our Health Department Call Center at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions. Both call centers are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19; text FFXCOVIDESP to 888777 for updates in Spanish.

Email questions or concerns to ffxcovid@fairfaxcounty.gov. This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

Visit a web portal for coronavirus that serves as a one-stop online resource for information.

Learn more about COVID-19 on the Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webpage or FAQ page.

Follow the Fairfax County Government Facebook Page and Health Department Facebook Page.

Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.

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