Mature man taking a vaccine from his doctor

Scheduling an additional dose? Don’t forget to bring your COVID-19 vaccine card with you to your appointment.

Millions of Americans have received the COVID-19 vaccines. All the vaccines are safe and are effective against COVID-19, especially in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccines’ protection may decrease over time. Certain groups of people may be especially at risk. Because of that, some people are now eligible for an additional dose of the vaccine. Your eligibility depends on factors like your age and how long ago you received your original vaccine.

“We really want you to get your booster if you’re eligible,” says Tami Minnier, MSN, RN, chief quality officer, UPMC. “Please do it. It will add that extra level of protection.”

Who Is Eligible for an Additional Dose of the Vaccine?

The CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have authorized an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/J&J vaccines for many Americans.

Additional Doses for Immunocompromised People

People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are eligible for an additional dose of those vaccines. These people may not have had a strong immune response to the first two doses of the vaccine.

Examples of immunocompromised people include:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients.
  • People with tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Stem cell transplant recipients.
  • People with immunocompromising diseases like DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
  • People with HIV.
  • People taking medicines or receiving treatments that suppress the immune system, such as high-dose corticosteroids.

Additional dose eligibility for immunocompromised people

  • Pfizer vaccine recipients ages 5 to 11 are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose. They should get the Pfizer vaccine for their third dose.
  • Pfizer vaccine recipients age 12 and older are eligible to receive a third dose at least 28 days after their second dose, a fourth dose three months or more after their third dose, and a fifth dose four months or more after their fourth dose. Their third dose should be Pfizer; their fourth and fifth doses should be Pfizer or Moderna.
  • Moderna vaccine recipients age 18 and older are eligible to receive a third dose at least 28 days after their second dose, a fourth dose three months or more after their third dose, and a fifth dose four months or more after their fourth dose. Their third dose should be Moderna; their fourth and fifth doses should be Pfizer or Moderna.
  • J&J vaccine recipients age 18 and older are eligible to receive a second dose at least 28 days after their first dose, a third dose two months or more after their second dose, and a fourth dose four months or more after their third dose. Their second, third, or fourth doses can be Pfizer or Moderna.

You can schedule an appointment for additional doses by visiting our COVID-19 vaccine page or calling 844-876-2822 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J Boosters

The CDC and FDA have authorized booster doses for recipients of all three COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC recommends all eligible people get their booster shots.

  • Pfizer recipients: To be eligible for a booster, you must be at least 12 years old and have received your second dose at least five months ago.
    • Pfizer recipients age 50 and older also are eligible for a second booster dose, which they can get four months or more after their third dose.
  • Moderna recipients: To be eligible for a booster, you must be at least 18 years old and have received your second dose at least five months ago.
    • Moderna recipients age 50 and older also are eligible for a second booster dose, which they can get four months or more after their third dose.
  • J&J recipients: To be eligible for a booster, you must be at least 18 years old and have received your initial J&J dose at least two months ago.
    • J&J recipients age 50 and older also are eligible for a second booster dose, which they can get four months or more after their second dose.

The FDA and CDC say people who are eligible for the booster doses can choose which vaccine they receive for the booster, even if they did not receive that vaccine as part of their initial series.

For more information on who is eligible, visit the CDC’s website.

If you are eligible for a booster dose of the vaccine, visit Vaccine.UPMC.com or call 844-876-2822 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.

“If you want to talk about the choices of boosters, call your primary care physician, or call us,” Minnier says.

What to Know for Your Additional Dose Appointment

If you are eligible for an additional dose of the vaccine and wish to get it from UPMC, you must schedule an appointment. We are not offering additional doses on a walk-in basis.

On the day of your vaccine appointment, please bring your CDC vaccine card.

What If I’m Not Eligible for a Booster Dose?

If you are not yet eligible for an additional vaccine dose, you are still considered well-protected against COVID-19. The initial vaccine series is effective in preventing COVID-19, especially in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

It is possible federal health officials may authorize additional doses of the vaccines for more people in the future.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines at UPMC, visit Vaccine.UPMC.com.

 

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People. Link

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Who Is Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot? Link

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.