Phil Murphy says as winter approaches, get your COVID-19 booster shot, even if you’re not sure about your eligibility

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FILE PHOTO: A syringe is filled with a dose of Pfizer's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a pop-up community vaccination center in Valley Stream, New York

With the efficacy of the COVID-19 double dose vaccines wearing down after just six months, today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy once again advised senior citizens and high-risk New Jerseyans to get their third jab.

The CDC has approved COVID-19 booster shots to be administered after just six short months of being fully vaccinated. Even if you’re not technically eligible for a booster shot, Murphy said to get one anyway.

“If you’re over 65 years or older and it’s been six months since your last dose of either Pfizer or Moderna or two months, Judy, after your J&J shot, get a booster. If you’re 18 years of age or over and you’re at higher risk because of either a preexisting health condition or conditions in your workplace, and if you, too, are outside of those time windows, get a booster,” Murphy said. “If you’re in doubt and you meet the waiting period, just get a booster. Choose the side of greater protection. I’m going to vote – and I hope that we’ll get there sooner or later – that we make this even more simple and straightforward because that’s, we think, is a big step we can take. With the holidays coming up, we need as many people boosted as possible. It’s that simple.”

The state’s top health official, Judy Persichilli said that after just six months, New Jerseyans may not understand or realize that their immunity against COVID-19 from the vaccine has weakened.

“Those who haven’t received a booster yet may not understand that their immunity has weakened since they received their primary vaccine series. We know there is confusion regarding whether you are eligible for a booster, so to be clear, if you are 65 years of age or older, get a booster,” Persichilli said. “If you are 18 years of age and older and live or work in a high-risk setting like a school, healthcare, transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, restaurants, supermarkets, including any front-facing occupation, get a booster. If you are 18 years of age or older and live in a congregant setting or long-term care setting, get a booster.”

Immunity wanes over a six month period after getting fully vaccinated, Persichilli added.

“It is essential that those who are eligible receive boosters because studies have shown immunity wanes over time increasing the risk of getting a breakthrough infection and spreading it to others. It’s also important because of the approaching holidays when more people will be gathering inside this year and because of the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and the potential risk of new variants emerging,” she said.

According to the CDC, here’s who is eligible:

  • People who received a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series and are 65 years and older, 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot at least 6 months after completing the primary series (which may include an additional primary dose in persons with moderate to severe immunocompromise).
  • People who received a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series and are 18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who work or live in high-risk settings may receive a booster shot at least 6 months after completing the primary series (which may include an additional primary dose in persons with moderate to severe immunocompromise).
  • People who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and are 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their primary vaccine dose.
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It doesn’t matter which vaccine you had the first time around either as mixing and matching is now allowed.

“You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots,” the CDC said.

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