Walgreens announced today that eligible individuals can now receive Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine booster shots in stores nationwide following the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This follows FDA authorization of a Pfizer booster dose on Sept. 24. As part of this new guidance, eligible populations may also choose to receive a dose different from the one they received for their initial series.
As new guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines continues to emerge, our communities are relying on pharmacists for information, support and guidance more than ever. Walgreens pharmacy teams are available to answer questions and make it easy to understand eligibility requirements and access COVID-19 vaccine, whether it’s a first dose or booster shot,” said Rina Shah, group vice president pharmacy operations and services, Walgreens.
What You Need to Know About Booster Eligibility
- Moderna COVID-19 Booster Eligibility: Eligibility requirements for Moderna and Pfizer-BioTech booster doses are the same. Individuals must wait at least six months after they complete their initial mRNA COVID-19 primary vaccine series to receive their booster dose. Eligible individuals include:
- Individuals aged 65 and older.
- Long-term care facility residents ages 18 and older.
- Individuals aged 18 and older with underlying medical conditions. Individuals ages 18 – 49 should consider individual benefits and risks, according to CDC guidance.
- Individuals ages 18-64 who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, such as healthcare and essential workers, based on their individual benefits and risks.
- J&J COVID-19 Booster Eligibility: A single vaccine booster dose is recommended for individuals 18 and older who received a J&J primary dose at least 2 months after they receive their initial J&J primary vaccine dose.
- Mix & Match Guidance: In general, it is recommended individuals receive the same product for their booster dose as they did for their primary series.
- However, if the original product is not available or another product is preferred, mix and matching vaccines with any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccine boosters is allowed.
- The primary series of two-dose vaccines should still be completed with the same product for both doses.
Walgreens Remains Committed to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
Though the United States has more than enough vaccines for all eligible individuals, vaccination rates remain uneven, leaving Hispanic and Black adults particularly at risk. Since September 20, vaccination rates have increased by 1.2 percentage points among both Hispanic and Black adults, but overall, they remain less likely to have received a vaccine.i Continued hesitancy stemming from medical mistrust or misinformation, and other social determinants of health continue to contribute to disparities in vaccinations among some communities of color.
“As we help millions of Americans get their booster shot, vaccine hesitancy is still a barrier in many communities of color,” said Dr. Kevin Ban, chief medical officer, Walgreens. “As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Walgreens will remain focused on driving equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines with vaccine equity clinics and educational initiatives.”
In the last month, Walgreens administered nearly 60% of its COVID-19 vaccines to people of color through ongoing equity efforts. Walgreens will continue to prioritize vaccine delivery to medically underserved areas and communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic as boosters become available.
How to Schedule Your Vaccine at Walgreens
Appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, booster shots and additional immunizations can be scheduled through Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, by calling 1-800-Walgreens or by calling a local Walgreens store. Individual vaccine availability will vary by location.