DHS supports offering Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 2:35 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - State health officials are supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation Friday to expand eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to include Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Certain populations who have an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 can receive the Moderna booster at least six months after having their second dose and people ages 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can receive a booster at least two months after their first dose, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services advised.

DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake asked eligible Wisconsinites to be patient in getting one, as it may take time for everyone who needs a booster to get it.

“With three COVID-19 booster dose options now available, our national medical experts have given us additional tools to help stop the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant and slow the spread of COVID-19 in communities throughout Wisconsin,” Timberlake said.

DHS backed Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot on Sept. 27.

The state’s top health agency noted it is waiting for the CDC to publish clinical guidance for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s booster before vaccinators will actually be able to start giving them out. Pharmacies such as Hy-Vee have already announced that it is offering these booster doses.

Vaccinators are able to provide different COVID-19 booster brands to patients than the one they initially received, which DHS said should provide more flexibility to health care providers.

Public Health Madison & Dane County noted they can only provide Pfizer boosters to those who are eligible, until DHS gives guidance on Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s version.

DHS listed the following criteria for people to meet in order to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster:


  • People 65 years and older
  • All residents in long-term care
  • People ages 18 and older with certain underlying medical conditions.
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorder
  • People ages 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their job or institutional settings. Occupations at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include frontline essential workers and health care workers:
    • First responders (health care workers, firefighters, police, staff at congregate care facilities)
    • Education staff (teachers, support staff, childcare workers)
    • Food and agriculture workers
    • Manufacturing workers
    • Corrections workers
    • U.S. Postal Service workers
    • Public transit workers
    • Grocery store workers
    • This list could be updated in the future

Johnson & Johnson:

  • People ages 18 and older

COVID-19 data Friday

In Wisconsin Friday, DHS reports 54.9% of residents have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series and 57.6% have received at least their first dose. There have been 17,548 shots administered this week, out of 6.3 million to date.

Health officials confirmed 2,016 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, bringing the seven-day rolling average down to 1,187. There have been 777,244 cases ever reported in the state.

Thirteen people have died Friday of COVID-19, DHS adds.

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