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Walmart, Walgreens U.S. stores roll out Moderna, J&J COVID-19 booster shots

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·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: People are inoculated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Walgreens store in Chicago
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(Reuters) -Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Walmart Inc said on Friday their U.S. pharmacies started administering COVID-19 booster shots from Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, in addition to previously authorized Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended J&J and Moderna's booster shots and said Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation as a booster.

CVS Health Corp also said booster shots of Moderna's vaccine were available at select stores, but not J&J's. In August, the company stopped offering J&J shots at its pharmacies.

"We will provide Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster shots to eligible individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine as their primary vaccination," a CVS spokesperson said on Friday.

Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies are ready to administer all three authorized booster shots, the company said.

Rite Aid Corp did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on their plans to roll out J&J and Moderna vaccine boosters.

U.S. health regulators have recommended a second dose of J&J's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for 18-year olds and above who received the first shot at least 2 months earlier.

They also recommended a third shot of Moderna's two-dose vaccine six months after the second dose for people aged at least 65 and those at high risk of severe disease and exposure to the virus through their jobs.

The FDA and CDC last month signed off on booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE for the same groups as for Moderna.

U.S. pharmacy chains including Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS began administering booster doses of Pfizer/BioNTech at their stores on Sept. 24.

About 11.6 million people have received additional doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines since Aug. 13, when immunocompromised Americans started receiving additional doses.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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