Mature man taking a vaccine from his doctor

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

Americans 5 and older are now eligible for an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The initial vaccine series is safe and effective against COVID-19, especially in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. But 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.

An additional and/or booster dose can help raise your protection against COVID-19.

“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 additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/J&J vaccines for Americans 6 months and older.

People who receive the two-dose Novavax vaccine are not currently eligible for any additional doses.

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Additional Doses for Immunocompromised People

People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who received the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for additional doses. These people may not have had a strong immune response to the first initial vaccine series.

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 6 months to 4 years old are eligible for a third dose at least eight weeks after their second dose.
  • Pfizer vaccine recipients ages 5 to 11 are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least eight weeks after their second dose and a fourth dose at least three months after their third dose.
  • Pfizer vaccine recipients age 12 and older are eligible for a third dose at least four weeks after their second dose, a fourth dose at least three months after their third dose, and a fifth dose at least four months after their fourth dose.
  • 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 at least three months after their third dose, and a fifth dose at least four months after their fourth dose.
  • Moderna vaccine recipients 6 months to 17 years old are eligible for a third dose at least four weeks after their second dose.
  • J&J vaccine recipients age 18 and older are eligible to receive a second dose at least four weeks after their first dose, a third dose at least two months after their second dose, and a fourth dose at least four months after their third dose.

For more information on additional doses for immunocompromised people, visit the CDC website.

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

Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J Boosters

The CDC and FDA have authorized booster doses for recipients of the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines. The CDC recommends all eligible people get their booster shots.

Novavax vaccine recipients are not currently eligible for boosters.

Pfizer recipients

  • Pfizer recipients age 18 and older are eligible for a booster at least five months after their second dose. People 50 and older are eligible for a second booster at least four months after their first booster.
  • Pfizer recipients age 5 to 17 years old are eligible for a booster at least five months after their second dose.
  • Pfizer recipients age 6 months to 4 years old are not currently eligible for a booster. The initial vaccine series for these children is three doses.

Moderna recipients

  • Moderna recipients age 18 and older are eligible for a booster dose at least five months after their second dose. People 50 and older are eligible for a second booster at least four months after their first booster.
  • Moderna recipients 17 and younger are not currently eligible for booster doses.

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen recipients

  • J&J recipients 18 and older are eligible for a booster dose at least two months after their first dose. People 50 and older are eligible for a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster dose.

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.

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 800 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.