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State offers guidance on COVID boosters

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Covid-19 weblogo

DES MOINES — With booster shots for all three COVID-19 vaccines all approved by federal regulators, the state’s public health department has issued guidance for Iowans who want to receive one of the boosters.

What's new

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now approved booster doses for all three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. All are now available for distribution and for individuals who qualify to receive them.

What they are

As with many other vaccines, data shows the COVID-19 vaccines may lose some effectiveness over time. And in the specific case of COVID-19, the original vaccines may not be as effective against the Delta variant, which is now the virus’ dominant strain. Booster shots are designed to extend the protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccines.

Who is eligible

According to federal and state public health guidance, among those who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the following populations are eligible to receive a booster shot 6 months after their initial vaccination was completed:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities
  • People 18 and older with underlying medical conditions
  • People 18 and older who live or work in high-risk settings

Anyone 18 years and older who received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster shot 2 months after receiving their initial shot.

Mix and match

The federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. In other words, an individual who received the initial Moderna vaccine may receive the Pfizer booster shot. Or an individual who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a Pfizer or Moderna booster.


The state public health department recommends that any Iowan with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines or booster shots ask their health care provider. Iowans can search for a vaccine provider online

Melanie Mergen is Local News Editor for the Globe Gazette. You can reach her at


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