Walgreens starts administering Moderna, J&J COVID-19 booster

Coronavirus Vaccine

FILE – In this June 25, 2019, file photo a man walks outside a Walgreens pharmacy in downtown Cincinnati. Walgreens is adding the former leader of rival drugstore chain Rite Aid to its executive team. The company said Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, that John Standley will join Walgreens Boots Alliance as president, effective immediately.(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(Reuters) — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Friday its U.S. stores started administering COVID-19 booster shots from Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, a day after the country’s health regulator recommended the additional doses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday said Americans can also choose a different shot from their original inoculation as a booster.

Competitors Walmart Inc., Rite Aid Corp. and CVS Health Corp. did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on their plans to roll out J&J and Moderna vaccine boosters.

U.S. health regulators have recommended a second dose of J&J’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for 18-year-olds and above who received the first shot at least 2 months earlier.

They also recommended a third shot of Moderna’s two-dose vaccine six months after the second dose for people aged at least 65 and those at high risk of severe disease and exposure to the virus through their jobs.

The FDA and CDC last month signed off on booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE for the same groups as for Moderna.

U.S. pharmacy chains including Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS began administering booster doses of Pfizer/BioNTech at their stores on Sept. 24.

About 11.6 million people have received additional doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines since Aug. 13, when immunocompromised Americans started receiving additional doses.

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