Johnson & Johnson booster shot should be available soon in Alabama

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:04 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some health leaders said it’s not a surprise that a committee has recommended those who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine should get a booster. That recommendation came from an advisory committee of the FDA last week.

Dr. Scott Harris is one of those who say this is not a surprising move. J&J was considered a breakthrough with only one shot rather than two, but now after more studies, it shows a second shot will provide even better protection.

More studies are showing the protection wanes months after being fully vaccinated. The recommendation is that those who got the J & J shot, two months later they should now get a second shot.

At this time in Alabama, more people are getting booster shots than the first shots of the vaccine. The Alabama Department of Public Health has given out about 100,000 booster shots. The state has given out a smaller amount of the J&J vaccine.

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said those that got the initial J&J shot should, once it’s finally recommended and approved, get a second dose.

“We certainly want people who got Johnson & Johnson to get that second dose. The recommendation was for two months after the first dose. Although there is debate about that. People who got J & J the first shot were pretty well protected against illness and death at least six months. Anyway, if it’s been more than two months after you got the vaccine, you are eligible for the booster,” Harris said.

Dr. Harris said J & J is available again. They have had it only available for the last few weeks. There hasn’t been a large demand for it. He adds back in July, the shelf life of the vaccine was extended by 45 days.

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