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If You Got Moderna or J&J, Here's When Your Boosters May Come

Dr. Rochelle Walensky shares the latest about boosters and mandates.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky joined SiriusXM Doctor Radio's "Doctor Radio Reports" and spoke with show host Dr. Marc Siegel about COVID-vaccine booster shots and the possibility of people getting a second J&J shot, or even mixing vaccines and said "we anticipate we will have our next steps in our booster vaccination campaign for those people in a few short weeks." Read on for five key points—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Walensky Said This About Moderna and J&J Boosters

Syringe Injection placed against Johnson and Johnson logo

"Pfizer was the first step. They were the one who came forward with their data as soon as it asked for their authorization first. But we have not forgotten about to all of those who have gotten J&J, and all of those who have gotten Moderna. The first thing to say here is I do really want to emphasize that those who have been fully vaccinated really maintain really quite good protection against severe disease and hospitalization and maintain quite good protection against infection. So all of these efforts right now are in the spirit of really staying ahead of this virus and getting ahead of it before we see waiting, before we see extra hospitalizations. We do know, and we'll have with urgency address the Moderna and the J&J people who got primaries with the Moderna and J&J series. And we anticipate we will have our next steps in our booster vaccination campaign for those people in a few short weeks."

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Dr. Walensky Said This About Vaccine Mandates

Woman is presenting COVID vaccination card.

"For those of us who've worked in healthcare for years, this is kind of the bread and butter of our what you do every year to sort of update your status in the HR system. You prove that you've been hepatitis B vaccinated, you approve that you've been screened for TB, you've proved that you've gotten your flu shot. So this, it is interesting to see how, what we've been living with in the healthcare sector for oh so very long, when it's implemented in other sectors, the pushback that it gets. Certainly, mandates have been controversial, but I think to your point is that they're also working. We really don't want to be in a situation where we have to let employees go because they have not complied with vaccine mandates, but it is also the case that more people get vaccinated when their employers mandate it. And I do think that in this moment in time, especially in many of these sectors where we have a lot of people interacting with a lot of other people, it is really an important way to keep our public safe."

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Dr. Walensky Said This About Underserved Communities

woman drinking coffee while pregnant

"Better than we had been and not as good as we need to be. So maybe I'll say we have made some progress, there's still a lot of progress that needs to be made. One place that maybe I'd like to highlight if okay with you is pregnant women. 30% of pregnant women are vaccinated. We know pregnant women are at much higher risk of severe disease of mechanical ventilation. Their unborn babies are at much higher risk of adverse outcomes if they're not, if they get COVID, and we have really extraordinary and robust data now demonstrating the safety and efficacy of vaccination for pregnant women against COVID. That said we have 15% of our African-American pregnant women vaccinated. And so we have a lot of work that we need to do in education, but that is just sort of one marker of the places where we have work to do in our racial and ethnic minority in our underserved communities." 

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Dr. Walensky Had Warned Some States in "Dire Straits"

Emergency medic and doctor moving patient to emergency room in hospital

There are "crisis levels of care" "in some states, yes," Walensky told Face the Nation last week. "They are running out of beds. And when you see that, you worry that people may not be able to come in and get the proper care if they have a motor vehicle accident or if they're having a heart attack. And that is why we are working so hard in areas that have high levels of disease where they can't. Their health care systems are in dire straits. Working to get- get assistance to them, working to get those communities vaccinated. Because, as I noted, people who are not vaccinated are 10 times more likely to be in the hospital. Our hospitals are filled with unvaccinated people."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek