Updates and Resources

New Recommendations Encourage Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines Over Johnson & Johnson

On Dec. 16, the CDC revised its recommendation for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Because of the risk of developing rare but serious blood clots from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC recommends that most Americans should receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine instead. This advice comes out of the CDC’s continuous monitoring of the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness. New data showed the Johnson & Johnson shots led to a higher risk than previously known for a blood clotting condition called thrombosis. The CDC says the issue is rare, occurring at a rate of about 1 case in every 100,000 doses given, and that the risk is highest among women age 30 to 49. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, headach, leg pain and abdominal pain occurred within six to 13 days of receiving the vaccine. These rare blood clots are linked to dozens of cases and at least nine deaths in the US in the past year.

In April, the CDC and the FDA had put a temporary pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six cases of the rare blood clots were reported. After reviewing the available data and finding the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, they allowed the vaccine into use again. Data continues to be gathered and analyzed.

Although the CDC recommends that people receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains available for those who cannot receive the mRNA vaccines due to severe allergies, for example, or for those who still prefer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine despite the risks.

If you are considering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, talk with your health care provider about the risk and any other concerns you may have.

Vaccinated Children Age 5-11 Eligible to Win NYS College Scholarship

New York State is offering chances to win a Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate Vaccine Incentive Scholarship to children age 5 to 11 who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine through Dec. 19, 2021.

Parents or legal guardians of any New Yorker who is 5 to 11 years of age and who has received at least their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, may enter their child for a chance to win one of 50, four-year, full-ride scholarships (including tuition, fees, room-and-board, and expenses) to any two-year or four-year New York State public college or university.

Learn more and enter your child at https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/vaccinate-educate-graduate.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5-11

The CDC now recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Appointments for pediatric doses of the vaccine are becoming available across our region over the next few days:

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

Monroe County Clinics Offer thank-you gifts

Monroe County is offering a $100 thank you gift to those getting vaccinated against COVID-19 for the first time in clinics within areas of lower vaccination rates. Gift cards in increments of $50 and $100 are distributed onsite at the time of the vaccination.

For Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, those receiving their first dose will get a $50 gift card and receive another $50 card for their second dose. Those receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will receive a $100 gift card.

Booster shots and additional doses for people who are immunocompromised do not qualify for the gift card offer. This program will begin Oct. 23 and run through Nov. 23, or while funding lasts. Gift cards are funded from the County’s allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Check out the list of participating locations.

Information about Additional Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

At this time, federal health officials recommend additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines for specific groups of people. Public health officials ask that you only seek a third dose or a booster if you qualify for one at this time.

Booster Shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has recommended booster shots for all individuals 18 and older who have completed a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine (either two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Learn more about boosters and when you can get yours.

Learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Third Doses for People who are Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised

Third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are recommended for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. These individuals need an additional dose because data now show that they do not build up enough protection against COVID-19 infection when they get their first two doses.

Public health officials ask that you only seek a third dose or a booster if you qualify for one at this time. The FDA and CDC are expected to issue additional recommendations in the coming weeks.

Learn more about the CDC recommendations for third doses.