SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 – Extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine are in the news. Here’s the difference between a “third dose” and “booster shots”:
A “third dose” is recommended for immunosuppressed people who have had 2 doses Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Some immunosuppressed people have not built strong immunity from two doses of vaccine.) The FDA has approved a third dose of Pfizer vaccine for people with specific medical conditions (see all six conditions below). It’s important for these high-risk individuals to get this protection now.
A third-dose “booster shot” *may* be useful for people who built strong immunity from their vaccine. The FDA and CDC are considering now whether the general population would benefit from an additional dose. Experts are exploring if best time for another dose is 8-12 months after your final dose.
People who have had two doses of Pfizer or Moderna (or one dose of J&J) are well-protected against hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Why another dose? Because each dose of vaccine prompts your body to practice how to fight the virus if it gets exposed to it.
NH+C is now providing a third dose of vaccine for individuals with specific medical conditions defined by CDC and FDA:
- Organ transplant
- Bone marrow or stem cell transplant
- Immunodeficiency (moderate-severe)
- Undergoing chemotherapy
- Advanced HIV
- Active treatment with high-dose immunosuppressant (such as prednisone)
Current NH+C patients with these conditions can call to discuss scheduling a third dose: 507-646-8019.
Guidance will continue to evolve. The FDA is expected to announce a decision on Sept. 20 about booster shots. NH+C will share information as plans evolve, based on guidance from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP), the FDA, and the Minnesota Department of Health. Please do not call NH+C for a third dose unless you have a medical condition on CDC and FDA’s list.
It’s important to get unvaccinated people protected against COVID-19. Vaccination is FREE. Schedule your appointment: 507-646-8019
Vaccine is widely available in the community, including pharmacies . . . convenient, with no appointment at many locations. Find yours: vaccineconnector.mn.gov
Fully vaccinated people should keep up precautions to protect against the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19: Wear a mask, keep distance, avoid large gatherings, isolate if you’re sick, get tested if you have symptoms.