For this week’s “You asked, we answered,” VHA discusses additional vaccine doses.
I’ve heard about people receiving additional doses and booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines. Is there a difference between these kinds of shots?
Yes, there is a difference. An additional third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is appropriate for people who may not have had a strong enough immune response after receiving the first two doses.
A booster shot is appropriate for people whose immune response may have weakened over time since becoming fully vaccinated.
How do I know if I should receive a third dose?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with weakened immune systems who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should receive a third dose of the same vaccine.
You can consult with your health care provider and review a list of conditions to see if you may be eligible for a third dose.
How do I know if I can receive a booster shot?
The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a plan to begin offering booster shots to all Americans in mid-September 2021. Once the United States Food and Drug Administration authorizes COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and CDC recommends their use, VA will offer them.
What if I received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine?
Experts are currently working to confirm whether people with weakened immune systems who received a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine would benefit from a second dose.
HHS is also developing a plan to provide booster shots of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine for all Americans.
If you received a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine, you should expect further guidance regarding additional shots and booster shots in the coming weeks.
Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions. And remember to follow good health habits in the meantime. To keep it simple, follow the three W’s: wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance from others!
COVID-19 Booster Shots And Additional Doses | Veterans Affairs (va.gov)
COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People | CDC
Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC