What Is The Difference Between A Booster And An Additional Dose
A COVID-19 booster is given when a person has completed their vaccine series, and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Depending on the original series you had, some details will vary. Please review the booster eligibility information above and talk to your health care provider if you are not sure if you meet these guidelines. Please note, if you receive the Moderna booster, you will receive half of the original Moderna dose.
An additional dose is administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose is intended to improve immunocompromised peoples response to their initial vaccine series. Depending on the original series given, some details will vary. Please review the additional dose eligibility information and talk to your health care provider if you are not sure if you meet these guidelines.
Where Can I Get A Covid Vaccine Booster
Please check your state or local resources. Retail pharmacies, mobile vaccination clinics and state and local vaccination sites offer booster appointments. Some locations may offer walk-up vaccination times.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has limited booster/additional dose appointments at some of its Maryland locations.
The Difference In Doses
The first dose, Sandy said, primes the immune system to recognize the virus that causes COVID-19.
The second shot boosts your immunity, further providing you more protection from becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19, she said. The second dose not only induces cellular immunity for longer protection, but it provides you with better protection against variant strains.
The COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna arent the first vaccines requiring two doses. Several required childhood vaccines require two or more doses to provide the best protection against disease possible.
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Booster Shots Third Doses And Additional Doses For Covid
COVID-19 vaccine boosters and additional vaccine doses are now authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for certain people.
Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention, and Gabor Kelen, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, explain what you need to know about these COVID shots.
Vaccinations For Homebound Individuals
Extra-Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick are providing vaccinations to homebound individuals who are unable to leave their home to go to a pharmacy or regional health authority vaccination clinic. Existing clients of the Extra-Mural Program will be assessed to determine if they qualify for this service.
Homebound individuals who are not Extra-Mural clients may also be referred for a home vaccination by their primary care provider.
If you are unable to book a clinic online for a Horizon or VitalitÃ© clinic, call1-833-437-1424.
A limited amount of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is available to eligible New Brunswickers over 18 years of age through a special appointment only. To schedule an appointment for this vaccine, contact Tele-Services at 1-833-437-1424 or email . Only one dose of the Janssen vaccine is required to be considered fully immunized.
If you are unable to book a clinic online for a Horizon or VitalitÃ© clinic, call1-833-437-1424.
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Timing Of Your Second Shot
The timing between your first and second shots depends on which vaccine you received. If you received the:
Moderna COVID-19 vaccineGet your second shot 4 weeks after your first
You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 4-week interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose early. There is currently limited information on the effectiveness of receiving your second shot earlier than recommended or later than 6 weeks after the first shot.
However, if you do receive your second shot of COVID-19 vaccine up to 4 days before or at any time after the recommended date, you do not have to restart the vaccine series, and you can be considered fully vaccinated. This guidance might be updated as more information becomes available.
Why You Need The Second Covid
While the majority of people receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are completing the full two-dose series, there are still some who arent showing up for their second-dose appointments.
But does it really matter?
Yes, it matters. The second dose gives you more protection than you might think, said Sandy Salverson, PharmD, vice president of Pharmacy Operations for OSF HealthCare. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would have approved just a single dose of Pfizer and Moderna if the vaccines provided enough immunity after a single dose. Thats just not the case. A single dose is not good enough.
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Reporting Of Vaccine Adverse Events
Adverse events that occur in a recipient following COVID-19 vaccination should be reported to VAERS. Vaccination providers are required by the FDA to report the following that occur after COVID-19 vaccination under BLA or EUA:
- Vaccine administration errors
- Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
- Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death
Reporting is encouraged for any other clinically significant adverse event, even if it is uncertain whether the vaccine caused the event. Information on how to submit a report to VAERS is available at or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
In addition, CDC has developed a new voluntary, smartphone-based tool, v-safe. This tool uses text messaging and web surveys to provide near real-time health check-ins after patients receive COVID-19 vaccination. Reports to v-safe indicating a medically significant health impact, including pregnancy, are followed up by the CDC/v-safe call center to collect additional information to complete a VAERS report, if appropriate.
What About Booster Shots
Moderna is working on a booster shot that will target the omicron variant of COVID for this fall as nations around the world prepare to distribute annual vaccinations against the virus.
“We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022. We believe it will contain omicron,” CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.
Also Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said a vaccine that targets the omicron variant will be ready in March, and the company has already begun manufacturing the doses.
“This vaccine will be ready in March,” Bourla told “Squawk Box.” “We already starting manufacturing some of these quantities at risk.”
Bourla said the vaccine will also target the other variants that are circulating. He said it is still not clear whether or not an omicron vaccine is needed or how it would be used, but Pfizer will have some doses ready since some countries want it ready as soon as possible.
Bourla said it’s not clear whether a fourth dose is needed. He said Pfizer will conduct experiments to determine if another dose is necessary.
But Bancel on Thursday said the efficacy of boosters against COVID-19 will likely decline over time, and people may need a fourth shot in the fall to increase their protection.
However, Bancel said the efficacy of boosters will probably decline over the course of several months, similar to what happened with the first two doses.
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Book Your Third Dose Or Booster Dose
Who is currently eligible for a third dose or booster dose and what is the recommended interval?
- For immunocompromised individuals, a primary series is now considered 3 doses.
- Individuals 12 and over who are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or treatment can now book their 3rd additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine if at least 28 days has passed since their 2nd dose.
- A complete list of medical conditions and treatments can be found on the Declaration of Eligibility form. Individuals will need to sign this form attesting that they meet the eligibility criteria.
The following groups can book an appointment for a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine if at least 28 days have passed since their second dose:
- Fully immunized individuals who have received one or two doses of the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria/COVISHIELD vaccine in their series .
- Individuals who received a mixed vaccine series and must travel outside of North America for work, education or medical procedures. These individuals must provide a letter that includes their first and last name that shows their travel outside North America is essential.
- Individuals who received one dose of the Janssen vaccine .
Frequently Asked Questions About Additional Doses And Booster Doses
What data is the booster dose recommendation based on?
The CDC’s independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices s booster dose recommendation followed a careful examination of the latest data, and robust and deliberative discussion around booster shots. This includes:
- Safety: CDCs vaccine safety monitoring systems show that reported side effects, which are expected with vaccination, have so far been mostly mild or moderate, and short-lived. For both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, side effects were reported less frequently following a booster dose than the second dose of the primary series. Regardless of manufacturer, more than 93 percent of reports to VAERS following COVID-19 booster dose vaccination have been non-serious.
- Vaccine effectiveness: Data show that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is waning after the vaccine primary series, but protection remains high against severe disease and hospitalization. Administration of a booster shot may result in increases in antibody levels and increased effectiveness compared to primary vaccination.
The balance of risks and benefits for booster doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine varies by age, with older adults benefiting the most from a booster shot. However, with the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, the CDC recommends that everyone ages 16 and older get a booster shot when eligible for the best protection against COVID-19.
Are booster and additional doses also free?
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Understand The Do’s And Don’ts Of The Two
by Michelle Crouch, AARP, February 17, 2021
En español | If you’ve already received your first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, congratulations you’re well on your way to being protected from the coronavirus. But to be fully immunized, it’s critical to get that second shot.
Across the country, some people are running into snafus as they try to get their second dose. Winter storms have shut down clinics in some areas, while others have closed because they temporarily ran out of vaccine. There are also scattered reports of scheduling glitches.
If you’ve had an appointment canceled, don’t wait for someone to call you be proactive about rescheduling your second shot, advises William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
“We have told everyone these vaccines are 95 percent effective, he says of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines currently in use in the U.S. But they’re only 95 percent effective if you indeed get that second dose.”
Here are a few more things to know about the second dose:
1. Your side effects will likely be stronger
Many people who had little to no reaction to the first vaccine dose are reporting that the second one packs a punch surprising even those who study vaccines for a living.
There is no live virus in the vaccine, so you can’t get COVID-19 from being vaccinated.
Who Is Eligible For A Fourth Booster Dose
The CDC considers the following groups of people moderately to severely immunocompromised and eligible for a fourth dose:
- 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
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
The ideal COVID-19 vaccine plan for these individuals is as follows:
- Get a primary vaccine series: 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna, followed by a 3rd dose 28 days later
- Get a 4th booster dose 5 months after the 3rd dose
For those who originally received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
- Get a booster of Pfizer or Moderna 2 months after 1st dose
- No additional boosters are recommended at this time
However, some people are trying to get the fourth dose even if theyre not eligible. Many people with compromised immune systems have sidestepped government guidance and received unauthorized fourth or fifth shots by either not disclosing previous or convincing pharmacists that they need an additional dose because of their lack of antibodies, per the New York Times.
When you do go to get your fourth dose, be prepared with your vaccine card and a list of medications to show that youre eligible.
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What You Need To Know
- If you receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need 2 initial shots to complete the primary series.
- CDC does not recommend mixing products for a two dose primary vaccine series or an additional primary dose. If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should get the same product when you need a second shot or additional primary dose. However, mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines is allowed for booster shots for people ages 18 years and older.
- You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
- If you have a weakened immune system due to other diseases or medications, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.
- People with moderately or severely compromised immune systems ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine primary series and ages 18 years or older who completed their Moderna COVID-19 vaccine primary series should get an additional primary dose at least 28 days after their second shot.
- Everyone ages 16 years and older who completed their COVID-19 vaccine primary series can get a booster shot.
Does Mixing And Matching Work
Video: U.S. battles uptick in COVID cases as Omicron spreads
Research available now in the US as well as other countries shows that choosing a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster is effective. In some cases, mixing and matching seems to produce a stronger response compared with sticking to the original vaccine.
During a mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine trial funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , boosters from all three vaccine companies induced good immune responses in roughly 450 people who got different vaccines. In the study, Moderna’s booster gave the most robust response. However, that study examined a full dose of Moderna, rather than the authorized half-dose of the company’s booster, which could minimize Moderna’s edge over Pfizer, as The Atlantic reported.
Another preliminary study of 64 people found that people who originally received Pfizer’s vaccine, but then got a booster of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, had a stronger response to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. This included the harder-to-measure T-cell immune responses Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine appears to protect with as opposed to antibody response alone — which Johnson & Johnson said may be the reason two doses of its vaccine give great protection against hospitalization and disease caused by the omicron variant.
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What Is The Difference Between A Third Dose And A Booster
- Third doses are recommended for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Studies have found that some immunocompromised people do not develop the same level of immunity after vaccination the way that non-immunocompromised people do and that they may benefit from a third dose to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19. Those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may receive a third dose if they received their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days ago.
- A booster is an additional dose of vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot has begun to diminish over time. A booster is intended to help people maintain immunity for a longer period of time. The FDA and CDC recommend booster shots for those who received the J& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago and those who received the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago and meet certain criteria.
When Should I Get An Additional Dose Of Covid Vaccine
If you are immunosuppressed and originally received the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, you can get an additional dose when it has been at least 28 days since your second shot.
If you got the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you can get an additional dose when it has been at least 2 months since your vaccine.
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Boosters Vs Third Doses
A third dose is for people who are moderately or severely immune-compromised their original immune response from the first 2 doses may not have been strong enough, so a third dose is recommended as part of their primary vaccine series. These individuals are able to get a third dose as soon as 28 days after their second.
A booster shot is an additional dose of vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot has begun to weaken over time. A booster is intended to help people maintain immunity for a longer period of time.