Michigan OKs second COVID booster dose for select age groups

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that all residents ages 50 and older and those age 12 or older who are immunocompromised may choose to receive a second COVID-19 booster shot of Pfizer or Moderna's vaccine.

The direction from the state health department follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization on Tuesday.

The health officials said any teenage or older resident who is moderately or severely immunocompromised should consider a second booster dose.

Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for those under 18 years old and booster doses may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine, the department said.

Four months after receiving a first booster dose, the following groups of poeple are now authorized and individuals may choose to receive:

• A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older. 

• A second booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals 12 years of age and older. 

• A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals 18 years of age and older. 

• People who have been vaccinated and/or initially boosted with Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also eligible to receive a second booster of Pfizer or Moderna.

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"Vaccines remain our best strategy to minimize the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. "Those age 50 and older, or those who are immunocompromised and 12 years and older, may now receive an additional booster four months after their first booster. It is important that all Michiganders ages 5 and up get vaccinated if they aren’t already, and we urge Michiganders over the age of 12 to stay up-to-date on vaccines.” 

Residents should bring their COVID-19 vaccine card or immunization record when getting a booster dose. Free downloadable immunization records are now available for residents 18 years and older at the Michigan Immunization Portal, which requires residents to upload a valid government-issued photo ID.

If you do not have records in the portal or are seeking records for a child under 18 years of age, contact a health care provider or local health department.

Detroit is providing a second round of booster doses of both Pfizer and Moderna at all city-run vaccination sites, officials said Wednesday. For appointments in the city, call (313) 230-0505 or visit www.vaccinatedetroit.com.

"Keeping up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations plus boosters can help protect individuals from getting infected with COVID-19 and having a severe outcome if they do contract COVID-19," said Dr. Robert Dunne, acting medical director of the Detroit Health Department. "During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were seven times less likely to be hospitalized, and 21 times less likely to die of COVID-19 if they did contract the virus."

So far, more than 6.6 million, or 65%, Michigan residents ages 5 and up have gotten at least their first dose of a vaccine. In Detroit, that number lags behind at 49%.

Michigan has totaled 2,078,951 confirmed cases and 32,830 deaths since the virus was first detected here in March 2020.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_