Everyone Ages 16 and Up Should Get a Booster as COVID Numbers Tick Up
By Barbara A. Preston | December 11, 2021
Everyone 16 and older should get a booster shot at any vaccine location if it has been at least two months since their one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot or at least six months after completing their two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series, according to the NJ Department of Health.
At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 16 and 17.
COVID-19 cases are rising throughout New Jersey, and the latest variant, Omicron, is now confirmed in Hunterdon and Mercer counties. Omicron is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on November 24. It is named after fifteenth letter in the Greek alphabet. The Omicron variant is reportedly taking countries by storm.
The Montgomery Township Health Department will hold COVID-19 clinics for adults and teenagers next week, offering first, second, or third “booster” doses of all three approved vaccines. The clinics will be from 2 to 7 pm on Tuesday, December 14; from 4 to 7 pm at the Lower Middle School Friday, December 17; and from 2 to 7 pm on Tuesday, December 21.
Because of high demand, pre-registration is strongly recommended via the New Jersey vaccination scheduling site. Sign up immediately because the appointments will go quickly. The Montgomey Health Department encourages those who need help to call the state helpline at 855.568.0545 between 8 am and 8 pm or call the Montgomery Township Health Department at 908.544.4330. The township's Social Support Coordinator Amanda Pulgarin is also available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.J. reports 17 COVID deaths, 4,782 cases - the highest 1 day total positive tests since January.
Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. 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 allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
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COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, studies show that vaccination may become less effective over time, especially in preventing infection or milder illness and in people over 65 years old. Booster doses provide necessary additional protection against waning immunity. All eligible individuals are encouraged to get booster shots.
NJ Marks COVID Vaccination Anniversary
December 15 marks the one year anniversary of the administration of the first COVID-19 vaccinations in New Jersey.
Governor Philip D. Murphy and NJ Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli are calling on vaccination partners to join their "Boost NJ Day" to commemorate the anniversary. Partners include local pharmacies, health centers, local health departments, and hospitals. All have been critical in vaccinating more than 80 percent of NJ residents, according the NJ Health Department.
"Since Thanksgiving, we have seen cases and hospitalizations continue to rise due to the holidays, increased travel, and [new] variants," according a public letter cosigned by Murphy and Persichille. "Yet only 34 percent of New Jersey’s 4.5 million residents eligible for booster shots have received one."
"With an average of 35,000 booster doses administered in our state per day, we are not where we need to be in further protecting our residents. We need to step up our efforts. It is our hope that every site joins us to host a Boost NJ vaccination event on December 15. We encourage you to have walk-in availability and extended hours, as these are also important to help make booster doses as accessible and available as possible."
A list of where these clinics will be taking place will be posted on covid19.nj.gov.