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Michigan health department urges more residents to get COVID-19 vaccine booster

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging certain residents to get a booster shot if they received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson primary COVID-19 vaccines.

Among those who should get a booster, the department said in a Friday statement, are individuals ages 65 and older, individuals ages 18 through 64 at high risk of severe COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions and those at high risk of the virus due to occupational exposure.

"We must take every measure we can to protect Michiganders, and that now includes booster doses for the various groups who are now eligible to receive them," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the health department's chief medical executive. "We know vaccines work and are the way out of the pandemic."

Nurse Danielle White of the Oakland County Health Department administers a booster Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to Eugene Wilson, 86, of Southfield, at the Southfield Pavilion on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Friday's announcement focused on the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines  because the health department in September urged those who had received the Pfizer vaccine to get boosters.

For people who received Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 primary vaccine, those eligible for boosters include individuals 65 years old and older, 18 and older living in long-term care settings, 18 and older with underlying medical conditions and 18 and older living in high-risk settings, according to the health department.

For people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they should broadly get a booster dose at least two months after completing their primary vaccination, the health department said.

Plans to expand the booster campaign were approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration earlier this week.

Eligible individuals can choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose, the state health department noted Friday.

People whose jobs increase the risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include first responders, education staff, food and agriculture workers, manufacturing workers, corrections workers, U.S. Postal Service employees, public transit workers and grocery store workers, according to the CDC's guidance.

Michigan residents should bring their vaccine card when getting their booster dose. The booster doses are available at any COVID-19 vaccine provider, the state health department said.

About 59% of Michigan residents, ages of 12 and up, have received their full COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to data from the state health department.