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    CDC Recommends Updated COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall/Winter Virus Season

    New Update

    Updated March 1, 2024

    CDC released today updated recommendations for how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The new guidance brings a unified approach to addressing risks from a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, flu, and RSV, which can cause significant health impacts and strain on hospitals and health care workers. CDC is making updates to the recommendations now because the U.S. is seeing far fewer hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and because we have more tools than ever to combat flu, COVID, and RSV.

    “Today’s announcement reflects the progress we have made in protecting against severe illness from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen. “However, we still must use the commonsense solutions we know work to protect ourselves and others from serious illness from respiratory viruses—this includes vaccination, treatment, and staying home when we get sick.”

    As part of the guidance, CDC provides active recommendations on core prevention steps and strategies:

    • Staying up to date with vaccination to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. This includes flu, COVID-19, and RSV if eligible.
    • Practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
    • Taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors.

    When people get sick with a respiratory virus, the updated guidance recommends that they stay home and away from others. For people with COVID-19 and influenza, treatment is available and can lessen symptoms and lower the risk of severe illness. The recommendations suggest returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.

    Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take additional prevention strategies for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses. Enhanced precautions are especially important to protect those most at risk for severe illness, including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems. CDC’s updated guidance reflects how the circumstances around COVID-19 in particular have changed. While it remains a threat, today it is far less likely to cause severe illness because of widespread immunity and improved tools to prevent and treat the disease.  Importantly, states and countries that have already adjusted recommended isolation times have not seen increased hospitalizations or deaths related to COVID-19.

    While every respiratory virus does not act the same, adopting a unified approach to limiting disease spread makes recommendations easier to follow and thus more likely to be adopted and does not rely on individuals to test for illness, a practice that data indicates is uneven.

    “The bottom line is that when people follow these actionable recommendations to avoid getting sick, and to protect themselves and others if they do get sick, it will help limit the spread of respiratory viruses, and that will mean fewer people who experience severe illness,” National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Demetre Daskalakis said. “That includes taking enhanced precautions that can help protect people who are at higher risk for getting seriously ill.”

    The updated guidance also includes specific sections with additional considerations for people who are at higher risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses, including people who are immunocompromised, people with disabilities, people who are or were recently pregnant, young children, and older adults. Respiratory viruses remain a public health threat. CDC will continue to focus efforts on ensuring the public has the information and tools to lower their risk or respiratory illness by protecting themselves, families, and communities.

    This updated guidance is intended for community settings. There are no changes to respiratory virus guidance for healthcare settings.



    Updated Sept. 12, 2023

    CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter. Updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna will be available later this week.

    Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration.  If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 2 months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, and protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time. Receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine can restore protection and provide enhanced protection against the variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States.  Last season, those who received a 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine saw greater protection against illness and hospitalization than those who did not receive a 2022-2023 vaccine.  To date, hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.

    Most Americans can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. For people with health insurance, most plans will cover COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. People who don’t have health insurance or with health plans that do not cover the cost can get a free vaccine from their local health centers; state, local, tribal, or territorial health department; and pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program also may receive the vaccine from a provider enrolled in that program.

    Updated Apr. 18, 2023

    Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent mRNA vaccines to simplify the vaccination schedule for most individuals. This action includes authorizing the current bivalent vaccines (original and omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains) to be used for all doses administered to individuals 6 months of age and older, including for an additional dose or doses for certain populations. The monovalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States.

    Click for more FDA News Release https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-changes-simplify-use-bivalent-mrna-covid-19-vaccines

    Español: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/actualizacion-sobre-el-coronavirus-covid-19-la-fda-autoriza-cambios-para-simplificar-el-uso-de

    Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters

    Updated Dec. 22, 2022

    What You Need to Know:
    • Updated (bivalent) boosters became available on:
      • September 2, 2022, for people aged 12 years and older
      • October 12, 2022, for people aged 5–11 years
      • December 9, 2022, for children aged 6 months–4 years who completed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine primary series
    • Updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine also became available on December 9, 2022 for children aged 6 months–4 years to complete the primary series.
    • CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group:
    • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recovering from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19.
    • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines.
    • COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as CDC continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 data.
    Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters

    Updated: 10/24/2022

    What You Need to Know:
    Updated (Bivalent) Boosters

    The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

    Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants. Learn more aboutvariants of the COVID-19 virus. Click/Tap

    Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters.

    Eligibility Last Updated: 3/29/2022
    Statement From N.J. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli on CDC Approval of Additional Booster Dose for People Ages 50+, Certain Immunocompromised Individuals

    The recommendation of an additional booster dose for those over age 50 and certain immunocompromised individuals will enhance protection against severe disease due to COVID-19 and its variants.

    Today’s updated recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allow these groups who received an initial mRNA booster dose at least four months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster. In addition, the CDC also recommended that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

    The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is ready to proceed with this next phase of booster doses and will work with vaccination partners to continue to ensure ease of access such as walk-in availability. To find a vaccination location, visit covid19.nj.gov/finder.

    According to the CDC, for adults and adolescents eligible for a first booster dose, these shots are safe and provide substantial benefit. During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7 times less likely to be hospitalized. The CDC and NJDOH continue to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting a booster when eligible.

    In a statement, the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said that, in collaboration with FDA and public health partners, the CDC will continue to evaluate the need for additional booster doses for all Americans.

    Who can get a booster shot or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Last Updated: 01/06/2022

    Everyone ages 12 and older should get a booster shot. Those ages 12 to 17 years old are only eligible for a Pfizer booster.

    Individuals are eligible to receive a booster if it has been at least two months since their one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, at least five months after completing their two-dose Pfizer vaccine series, or at least six months after completing their two-dose Moderna vaccine series.

    Eligible adults may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. The CDC recommends that mRNA vaccines (e.g. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) are preferred over the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine for prevention of COVID-19 in adults.

    Eligibility Last Updated: 12/13/2021

    Everyone 5 years or older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey and is encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing you from getting sick. They are one of the most important tools to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and getting back to what you love.

    All Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients 18 years of age and older are now eligible for a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    16-and-17-year-olds are now eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots.

    Schedule your COVID-19 vaccine or Booster shot:

    Booster Shot Eligibility Last Updated: 10/28/2021

    Who is eligible for a COVID-19 Booster at this time?

    The following groups are currently eligible for booster shots:

    • Ages 18+ Who Received Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine: People who are 18 and older who received a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least two months after their Johnson & Johnson shot
    • Ages 65+ and Long-Term Care Residents: People who are 65 years and older or who live in long-term care settings who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, at least six months after their second shot
    • Ages 50+ With High-Risk Health Conditions: People who are ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions (listed below) who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, at least six months after their second shot
    • Ages 18+ With High-Risk Health Conditions: People who are ages 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions (listed below) who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, at least six months after their second shot
    • Ages 18+ in Jobs or Settings With Increased COVID-19 Risk: People who are ages 18-64 years who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of where they work or reside (examples below) who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, at least six months after their second shot.

    Individuals self-identify as belonging to an eligible category and are not required to provide proof of a medical condition or a note from a medical provider.

    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 now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

    Third Dose Eligibility

    People with moderate or severe immune system deficiencies should get an additional Pfizer or Moderna shot, at least four weeks after their second Pfizer or Moderna shot, including those who have:

    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

    People who want a third dose should identify themselves as immunocompromised, and proof of immunocompromised status is not required.

    To schedule your COVID-19 Booster call 732.363.6655, Email CECTeam@OHINJ.orgcreate new email or click this link BOOSTER

    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing you from getting sick. They are one of the most important tools to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and getting back to what you love.

    Schedule your COVID-19 vaccine or Booster shot:

    CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for People Who Are Pregnant


    ASOG Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19


    Access your records with Ocean Health Initiatives, Inc. (OHI’s) Patient Portal. We’re using Athenahealth to help you access your health information.

    If you have received your first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine with us, you can obtain proof of vaccination by logging in to our patient portal.

    Please access the patient portal here: http://my-ohi.org/portal