Additional Doses & Boosters
About Boosters & Additional Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
An additional dose is for people who may not have had a strong enough immune response from the first two doses. A booster shot is for people whose immune response may have weakened over time. Keep reading to learn more about who can receive an additional dose or booster at this time.
- If you are eligible for an additional dose or booster, you can get one immediately at any vaccination clinic in Jefferson County or other vaccine providers. You can also talk to your healthcare provider and ask if they are offering COVID-19 vaccines.
- Additional doses and boosters are free. No ID, insurance or proof of medical history is required.
- You may self-report your immunocompromising conditions or eligibility to vaccine providers.
On September 24, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people at higher risk for COVID-19 to help increase their protection. These recommendations only apply to eligible individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their first two vaccine doses at least six months ago. People who received a Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccine should continue to wait for more information, which is expected in the coming weeks.
Specifically, CDC recommends:
- people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- people aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- people aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
- people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
On August 12, 2021, the FDA amended Emergency Use Authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose after the first two doses in certain immunocompromised people. The CDC recommends people whose immune systems are moderately to severely compromised receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least four weeks (28 days) after their second dose. People who have a moderately to severely compromised immune system may benefit from an additional dose of vaccine to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19. Studies show that some people who are immunocompromised don’t build adequate levels of protection after receiving two doses of mRNA vaccines. There is currently no recommendation for an additional dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
People who are recommended to receive an additional dose include 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 two 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.
- The additional dose should be the same vaccine product as the first two doses.
- The addition dose should be at least four weeks (28 days) after the second dose.
- People should not receive more than three mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.
Community members can call JCPH's COVID Vax Information Center (C-VIC) at 303-239-7000 and press option 1 for vaccine information.