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