Current News and Events

COVID-19 Update

September 1st, 2021

From Blue Shield California

COVID-19 vaccine approval and booster shots

Although infections are again on the rise, there are two key advancements with vaccines in the fight against COVID-19: FDA approval and booster shots.

What to know:

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 – officially branded as Cominarty – gained full approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 23, 2021 for use in individuals ages 16 years of age and older.
  • The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines remain under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), as does the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use with adolescents ages 12 – 15.
  • An additional dose (third shot) of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is currently available for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals at $0 cost share.
  • Appointments for extra doses for immunocompromised individuals can currently be scheduled through the My Turn website.
  • Subject to final FDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approval, booster shots for the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will be available starting September 20, 2021, for all vaccinated individuals, eight months after the date of their second shot.

Future updates:

  • Details are not yet available for the rollout and administration of booster shots, including the scheduling of appointments.
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shots: the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expects to release a plan for these in the coming weeks.

Read more: Blue Shield of California Chief Medical Officer Dr. Susan Fleischman answers questions about Cominarty, booster shots, and the latest COVID-19 developments, here.

Our COVID-19 site for broker and employers has information and resources regarding vaccines, testing, and return to the workplace planning.