What is a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
A COVID booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time. Typically, you would get a booster after the immunity from the initial dose(s) naturally starts to wane. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.
What is a COVID-19 vaccine third dose?
A third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) is identical to the first two doses. It can help protect people with weakened immune systems who did not have a strong enough response to the first two doses of one of the mRNA vaccines. Such people can get a third dose as soon as 28 days after a second dose. The FDA has authorized, and the CDC recommends, that those with certain medical conditions that suppress the immune system get a third dose of the same brand of COVID-19 vaccine that they initially received.
What is the difference between the 3rd dose and the booster?
The 3rd dose is to increase the immune response of someone with a weakened immune system up to the level of the rest of the population. The booster is to create another immune response and “boost” up the antibody levels.
What vaccine is Summit County currently administering?
We are giving our Pfizer as both a 3rd dose and a booster shot for those that meet the CDC requirements (>65 or have certain existing medical conditions). You must have received Pfizer as your primary series to qualify.
Moderna is approved to give as a 3rd dose and not a booster dose. Those that are severely immunocompromised would qualify.
J&J is not eligible for another dose at this time.
Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine or third dose?
Those 65+ are eligible to receive their 3rd dose or booster AND those 18-64 who are immunocompromised:
Currently, the CDC is recommending moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.
Eligible individuals should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
Would a third COVID shot have to be the same brand of vaccine I got originally?
Yes, your third vaccine dose should be the same type (Pfizer or Moderna) you received when you were first vaccinated. The third shot can be given to you when it has been at least four weeks (28 days) since your second shot, if you are considered immunosuppressed based on the criteria determined by the CDC.
Eligible immunocompromised individuals are encouraged to contact their primary care physician or pharmacy to receive the booster vaccine.
Pfizer (3rd doses and boosters) and Moderna (3rd doses) are available for eligible individuals at the Summit County Health Department. J&J boosters are expected late fall.