CVS, Walgreens offering COVID-19 booster shots to Moderna, J&J recipients

CVS offering Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 boosters; Walgreens offering Moderna or Johnson & Johnson

CVS and Walgreens pharmacies around the nation are offering more COVID-19 boosters to eligible patients after U.S. regulators signed off on extending the shots to Americans who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago are eligible for a booster. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients also qualify. 

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As a result, more than 9,800 CVS pharmacies across the nation are now offering the Moderna COVID-19 booster shot to eligible populations in addition to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 booster. 

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"The systems we've built and our deep experience in providing vaccinations allows us to play a leading role in administering booster shots to eligible populations," CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troyen Brennan said. 

Meanwhile, eligible patients can receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at Walgreens stores nationwide. 

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Consumers who are six months past their last Pfizer or Moderna vaccination are urged to get a booster if they’re 65 or older, nursing home residents, or at least 50 and at increased risk of severe disease because of health problems. 

Adults of any age at increased risk of infection because of health problems or their jobs or living conditions are also allowed to get boosters. That includes health care workers, teachers and people in jails or homeless shelters.

As for recipients of the single-shot J&J vaccine, a COVID-19 booster is recommended for everyone at least two months after their vaccination. That’s because the J&J vaccine hasn’t proved as protective as the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer options. 

Rina Shah, Walgreens' group vice president of pharmacy operations and services, said the company's pharmacists are available to help patients "understand eligibility requirements and access COVID-19 vaccine, whether it’s a first dose or booster shot." 

Health officials also approved "mixing and matching" that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.  

"Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster," CVS said. "The CDC's recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. "

However, Walgreens recommends individuals receive the same product for their booster dose unless "the original product is not available or another product is preferred." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.