News Flash

Health - Public Health News

Posted on: October 25, 2021

What’s the Deal with Boosters and Third Doses Now?

After completing the FDA and CDC review processes, booster doses were authorized in Washington State last Friday, October 22, for people who finished their Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccination series. Previously, only certain Pfizer recipients were eligible for boosters, and they could only get boosted with Pfizer’s vaccine. Now, your booster dose can come from any of the three brands currently in use in the U.S., no matter what brand you first received. The guidance for third doses (additional doses needed for mRNA vaccine recipients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised) hasn’t changed. 

Since so much has changed since last Friday, let’s break down what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. 

Guidance Unchanged for Third Doses

Certain moderate to severely immunocompromised people who were vaccinated with one of the two mRNA vaccines currently used in the U.S. (Moderna and Pfizer) need a third dose to finish their vaccination series. This is considered a third dose, not a booster dose. Booster doses are extra doses taken to improve immunity, but third doses are a part of your original vaccine series. Moderate to severely immunocompromised people need 3 doses to finish their vaccination series for these brands. 

You need a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer to finish your vaccination series if:

  • You’re moderately or severely immunocompromised, and
  • You got your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer at least 28 days ago.

Unlike booster doses, third doses must be the same brand as the first two. If you believe you require a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer, talk to your healthcare provider to see if a third dose is right for you.

Boosters for Moderna or Pfizer recipients

If you were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, you can get any type of booster if:

If none of the above criteria applies to you, you are not eligible for a booster at this time. 

Boosters for Johnson & Johnson recipients

If you were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, you can get any type of booster if:

  • You got your first dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at least 2 months ago, and
    • You’re 18 or older. 

Make an Appointment if You Need a Booster

Now that booster doses are approved for all brands, lots of people are trying to get them. If you’re trying to get a booster, it’s best to make an appointment. Many places welcome walk-ins, but it’s still best to schedule ahead to ensure you get the brand you want. 

If you’re having trouble getting an appointment because of technology issues or language barriers, we can help. Call us at (360) 778-6075 for help making an appointment.

Boosters and Third Doses infogrpahic

Boosters and Third Doses Infographic (PDF).

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