LA CROSSE, Wis. ― Options for COVID-19 booster shots have expanded at Mayo Clinic Health System this week. The Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorizations for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster vaccinations last week. Pfizer boosters have been offered to patients for the past three weeks.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that people receive the same vaccine brand for the booster shot as the primary COVID-19 vaccination when appropriate and available,"," says Kevin Fitzgerald M.D., a Family Medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Onalaska. "However, a mix-and-match strategy for COVID-19 vaccines has been approved."
Receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccination of a different brand than your primary vaccination is acceptable and may provide a similar or higher serologic response.
"Our Mayo Clinic vaccine experts support the mix-and-match strategy," says Abinash Virk, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System. "This strategy provides us with the flexibility to offer boosters at sites where supply of a certain brand may be limited, and will allow our nurses to be more efficient if a patient requests a different brand than their initial COVID-19 vaccination."
The Moderna COVID-19 booster is recommended starting six months after completion of the initial Moderna vaccination series for these groups:
- People 65 and older
- People 18–64 with underlying medical conditions that place them at high risk of severe COVID-19
- Patients in long-term care facilities
These groups may consider receiving the Moderna COVID-19 booster starting six months after their primary series:
- People 18–64 with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19, such as health care workers, teachers, day care staff, grocery workers, and those in homeless shelters or prisons.
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster is recommended for people 18 and older starting two months after completion of the primary Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Eligible patients should use Patient Online Services to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine booster or call 608-392-7400 to schedule an appointment at Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Wisconsin.
In the meantime, COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinics remain busy for a fourth week. Flu vaccinations increased by 10% this week, while COVID-19 vaccinations remain steady. Overall numbers continue to stay around 4,000 COVID-19 vaccinations per week.
COVID-19 testing continues to slowly decrease in Southwest Wisconsin.
Flu vaccinations are available at the La Crosse Flu Vaccine Clinic Tuesdays–Thursdays from 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. through Nov. 11.
People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:
- Young children under 5, especially those under 2
- Adults older than 65
- Nursing home or long-term care facility residents
- Pregnant and up to two-week postpartum women
- People with weakened immune systems
- People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes
- People who are very obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
Patients also may call 608-392-7400 to schedule a flu shot and/or COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of these locations:
- Arcadia: 895 S. Dettloff Drive
- Caledonia: 701 N. Sprague St.
- Holmen: 1303 Main St. S.
- La Crosse: 800 West Ave., S.
- Onalaska: 191 Theater Road
- Prairie du Chien: 800 E. Blackhawk Ave.
- Sparta: 310 W. Main St.
- Tomah: 325 Butts Ave.
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Press ContactRick Thiesse