PORTLAND, Ore. — More people in Oregon are now a step closer to getting booster shots after the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the boosters from both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson late last week.
That was welcome news to people like Cheryl Schock. "The more people around me, the more in the community that are vaccinated and boosted, I feel more protected," said Schock.
Schock has cancer and is in remission. She has had the two-shot Pfizer vaccine plus the booster. But because of her ongoing health challenges, the vaccine is not as effective for her as it is for others.
So she relies on others getting the vaccine to keep the community around her safe. "I have high risk for mortality from my cancer, and now, I have high risk because I don't have vaccination coverage, so I'm really very cautious," she explained.
When Schock got the Pfizer booster in August, it was the only booster authorized.
The CDC also said it's okay to mix and match, meaning people can get a booster from a different brand and still get benefits.
After the news from the FDA and CDC, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which include Washington, California and Oregon, quickly approved the boosters for use late Friday.
For Schock, that news brings a big sigh of relief.
Pfizer has been authorized for people at least six months after their last shot who meet certain criteria, including all people who are 65 years and older, and those over 18 with underlying medical conditions, who live in a long-term care setting, or who work or live in a high-risk setting.
The Oregon Health Authority lists more criteria for boosters and eligibility on its website.