CDC approves Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters

Oct. 22, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now authorized for residents of Washoe County after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed it on Thursday night.

All three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J) are now available as boosters in Washoe County. Per the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eligible people can receive any of the three vaccines as a booster, which has been referred to a “mix and match” approach, though the CDC or FDA did not recommend one over another. Residents with health concerns should seek guidance from their doctor.

Per the CDC, those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series are eligible for a single dose booster if they are:

Those who received the Janssen vaccine are eligible for boosters if they are:

  • At least 2 months from completion of previous dose
  • Age 18+

“The COVID-19 booster adds an extra layer of protection that is recommended for those who are at-risk of serious complications due to COVID-19,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “We encourage those who are eligible to get the booster as soon as they are able.”

Residents who want a booster can find a provider by clicking on this link, which includes most pharmacy locations in the area. Community Health Alliance is providing Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters starting Monday at its health centers and already has Pfizer boosters available, which were authorized in September.

Starting Wednesday walk-in appointments will be available for the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) boosters at Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. The walk-in process will remain until the state’s vaccine schedule tool is updated to accept Moderna and Johnson & Johnson appointments, which is expected in November.

Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center Hours

  • Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • Hours are 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • Due to Nevada Day, POD is closed Oct. 29-30

Appointments for the Pfizer booster are available now at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. Boosters will be administered at our Community Vaccine Events –  see the schedule here. Please bring your vaccine card.

The FDA provided data from the trials used to make their recommendation for boosters –  see that data and information here. The Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson boosters are the same sized dose as the first or second dose while the Moderna booster is half the size of the first and second dose.

“We have to protect those who are most susceptible to hospitalization or death from COVID-19,” Dick said. “For those who are not eligible for a booster or third dose, that is a good thing because studies are showing that for that portion of the population the COVID-19 vaccine is doing its job to protect you from serious illness from COVID-19.”

First and second doses remain available for all residents by using the same sign-up form. You can also call the Washoe County COVID Call Center at 775-328-2427.

Those with questions about their vaccination card should request that information through WebIZ. When you arrive at RSLEC, you will fill out paperwork self-attesting to your eligibility.

Difference between ‘booster’ and ‘third dose’

The third, or additional, dose is for people who are immunocompromised or immunodeficient. It’s likely those in this category did not receive the same amount of protection from the first series of vaccine doses and a third dose is needed to increase antibodies to reach levels similar to those who are not immunocompromised or immunodeficient.

A booster, meanwhile, is for those outlined in the eligibility criteria listed above who need increased antibody levels to maintain proper immune response as the vaccine protection wanes over time.

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. While press releases are only sent periodically for significant events, you can always get daily results on our website,, our COVID-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID19Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Reno Police Department, Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, University of Nevada, Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Washoe County School District and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the group are the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.