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Arizona's health department encourages booster shots for eligible adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already recommended booster shots for some vulnerable populations vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. And a CDC advisory panel on Thursday  announced additional recommendations for those initially vaccinated with Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines. 

Arizona’s health department is encouraging older adults and other eligible groups to plan to get the additional shot.

The Arizona Department of Health Services held a  town hall video call with Arizona AARP members Thursday to explain booster recommendations. Adults over 65, people with certain health conditions, and workers in high-exposure professions are among the groups recommended for a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot. For those initially vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a booster is recommended for all adults.

Jessica Rigler, with the state health department, said  FDA data suggests it will be safe to mix-and-match vaccine types, which should make scheduling a booster dose more convenient.

“We would recommend that you go get a booster dose and any kind of booster dose would be a good booster,” Rigler said. “Moderna and Pfizer are much more widely available in pharmacies throughout the state, so it’s likely when you go to get your booster dose that it will be one of those two dose types, but we would recommend that you get vaccinated with a booster dose of whatever’s available.”

Vaccine locations in Arizona are listed at  azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.