Eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster? It’s a bit confusing, but if you can answer “yes,” CVS Health officials said they are in position in New Jersey to help you get it.
CVS said booster shots are available in approximately 180 locations in the state, but they strongly recommend making an appointment at CVS.com or MinuteClinic.com to ensure they are able to access the correct vaccine at a convenient time and location.
The biggest reason: You need to make sure you are eligible (see box) for the shot and that the CVS location has the booster you need.
Currently, each participating CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic location is offering either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, not all three.
According to the CDC, the following people are eligible for the administration of booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after completion of the primary series to help increase protection for the following:
- People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot;
- People age 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot;
- People age 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot, based on their individual benefits and risks; and
- People age 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings, including health care workers, may receive a booster shot, based on their individual benefits and risks.
When scheduling an appointment on cvs.com, CVS officials say patients will be asked to provide the manufacturer and date of their last COVID-19 vaccine and will be able to schedule an appointment for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose if they have had two previous doses with the same vaccine at least six months prior.
Individuals who initially received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible for a booster at this time, per guidance from the public health agencies.
Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients will be asked to self-attest to their eligibility as defined by the eligibility guidelines, to help reduce barriers to access for these select populations.
The state Department of Health said it also has locations where those eligible can get a booster.
Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the Department of Health is directing its vaccination partners in the state to begin administering booster doses to eligible individuals immediately.
Individuals will self-identify according to the categories above and will not be required by vaccination providers to provide proof of a medical condition or a note from a medical provider in order to receive a booster dose in New Jersey.
There are over 1,600 vaccination sites across New Jersey — more than 1,000 of which offer the Pfizer vaccine — and the Department of Health continues to work to add additional sites. Many sites have walk-in availability and extended hours. To find a vaccination site and book an appointment online, click here or call 855-568-0545.