FDA Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

On November 19, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that all adults 18 years of age and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot for Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. This is a win for Indian Country. The expanded use of booster doses for individuals in this group helps to provide continued protection for Tribal communities against COVID-19.


The single dose booster is available for all individuals 18 years of age and older, six months after your last shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; and two months after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., there are 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated. As of November 21, 2021, 50.2 % of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), non-Hispanics (NH) have been fully vaccinated.


As the pandemic continues, vaccination against COVID-19 is the strongest tool we have. Even if you are fully vaccinated, remember your vulnerable friends and family, particularly elders, those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or those living with weakened immune systems, are still at higher risk of severe COVID-19. Getting vaccinated and receiving a booster shot means protection for you and protection for your loved ones this holiday season. If you are attending gathering this holiday season, remember to do so as safely as possible. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is an Act of Love to your Tribe! For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit the NIHB COVID-19 Tribal Resource Center


All three vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are safe, effective, and available for use in Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities and Tribal health systems. If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine availability, please contact your IHS, Tribal, or Urban health provider or pharmacy. Read more.