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TRENTON - New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Perschielli issued a statement following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to permit booster shots of Pfizer's Covid vaccine to those 65 and older: 

"The federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (FDA VRBPAC) recommended an emergency use authorization (EUA) to provide for a Pfizer booster dose at six months after the primary series to Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 65 or older or are at high risk of severe Covid. Following the FDA’s final authorization, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will meet and issue recommendations and guidance on the use and eligibility of the booster shot.

"The New Jersey Department of Health will direct vaccination partners in the state to begin administering booster doses once ACIP and CDC provide further guidance. The governor and the department will provide updates to the public once eligibility guidance is available. 

"In the meantime, the department will continue efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible, especially 12 to 17-year-olds, and reminds people to get their second dose to ensure greater protection. Given upticks in cases and deaths, the department strongly encourages all eligible persons to initiate vaccination as soon as possible.  

"Those who are immunocompromised should not delay their third dose of Pfizer or Moderna. Vaccination sites can be identified online, at covid19.nj.gov/finder, or by calling 1-855-568-0545."

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