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10/26/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/27/2021 07:59

Do I Need Another COVID-19 Vaccine? What To Know About Additional Doses

Updated October 26, 2021.

The CDC is now recommending a booster, or third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to some adults. Here's everything we know about the update so far:

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot?

For those who received a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot 6 months or more after their second dose:

Booster shots are also recommended for anyone 18 years and older who received the J&J vaccine two or more months ago.

Does my booster shot need to be the same type of vaccine as my first and second dose?

Not anymore. The CDC has approved a "mix and match" strategy, meaning that individuals who are eligible for a booster shot can receive any of the three COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of which they received for their first and second doses. This means that if you originally received the Pfizer vaccine, you may choose to have a third Pfizer dose, or receive the Moderna or J&J vaccine as your booster. The agency is leaving this decision up to individual preference, as all three vaccines continue to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the Delta variant.

What are the side effects of the booster vaccines?

At this time, side effects reported after the booster vaccines have been similar to those experienced with the original series. According to the CDC, fatigue and pain around the injection have been the most commonly reported side effects, while most side effects have been mild to moderate. Severe side effects have been reported to be very rare with these current COVID-19 vaccines, but may occur.

How can I get a shot if I qualify for a booster shot?

We are working with local health departments to prepare for how to offer 3rd dose vaccines to our members who qualify at this time. If you're eligible to get a 3rd dose of the vaccine, more guidance will be released in the coming days on where they will be available.

What medical conditions meet the criteria to receive a COVID-19 booster shot?

People 50 years and older with the following underlying medical conditions should contact their primary care provider or community pharmacy to schedule a third dose. People 18 to 49 with these conditions who received their last dose of the Pfizer vaccine 6 or more months ago can also consider discussing with their primary care provider whether the booster shot is right for them.

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 and 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions
  • HIV
  • Immunocompromised state
  • Mental health conditions
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
  • Substance use disorders
  • Tuberculosis

See the CDC website for more details on these specific conditions.

I am immunocompromised. How long after my second dose can I receive the third?

For those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised who have received two doses of an mRNA vaccine (i.e. Pfizer or Moderna), the FDA and CDC recommend a third dose of the same vaccine 28 days or more after the second.

Am I still considered "fully vaccinated" if I don't get a booster shot?

Yes. The CDC still considers individuals as "fully vaccinated" when two weeks have passed since they received the second dose of their Moderna or Pfizer series or the single-dose J& J vaccine.

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Atlanta,Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County,Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

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