Additional Doses & Boosters

About Boosters & Additional Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

A COVID-19 booster is given when a person has completed their vaccine series, and protection against the virus has decreased over time. An additional dose, originally called a third dose, is given to people with moderately or severely compromised immune systems to improve their response to the initial vaccine series.

  • 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.

Current Recommendations 

Boosters

Following approval from the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), second boosters are now available for certain groups.

  • People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
  • Adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
  • People ages 18–49 years who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first Janssen booster dose

Following approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), boosters are now available for all three COVID-19 vaccines.

When you should get your first booster depends upon whether you were vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

PFIZER

  • When: 5 months after receiving your last dose
  • What: A booster shot, which is a full-dose of the original vaccine
  • Who: Everyone ages 12+

MODERNA

  • When: 5 months after receiving your last dose
  • What: A booster shot, which is a half-dose of the original vaccine
  • Who: Everyone ages 18+

JOHNSON & JOHNSON

  • When: 2 months after receiving your last dose
  • What: A booster shot, which is a full-dose of the original vaccine
  • Who: Everyone ages 18+

In addition, the CDC recommendations allow for “mixing and matching,” meaning individuals have a choice to receive a different vaccine as a booster than what they originally received.

Additional Doses

  • People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first additional dose
  • Adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second additional  dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first additional dose
  • People ages 18–49 years who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine as both their primary series dose and additional dose may receive a second additional dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first Janssen additional dose

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.
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

Important information: 

  • 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

Questions?

Community members can call JCPH's COVID Vax Information Center (C-VIC) at 303-239-7000 and press option 1 for vaccine information.