Are COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots Recommended?

If you’ve been following the latest updates about the COVID-19 vaccine, you’ve likely heard information about getting an additional dose, often referred to as a third shot. You might even be wondering what the difference is between the third shot and a booster shot, or if they’re the same thing. As the vaccine choices and options broaden, it’s absolutely normal to feel confused about which one is right for you. That’s why we’re here to help clear things up!

Who should get an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Currently, the CDC recommends a third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for specific populations. If you have a weakened immune system, such as those who have had an organ or bone marrow transplant, are undergoing cancer treatments, or have certain chronic conditions (i.e., HIV/AIDS), you’re encouraged to receive a third shot. 

The reason for the additional dose is because immunocompromised individuals may not have developed enough immunity after vaccination with two doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. In these cases, the third shot can help to improve their protection against the Coronavirus. This additional shot can be administered 28+ days following their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Who should get the COVID-19 booster shot?

Over time, the immunity effects of a vaccine can wane. That’s why getting the COVID-19 booster shot is strongly recommended for certain individuals, including those who are 65 and older, or anyone over the age of 18 who resides in a long-term care setting. Additionally, the CDC recommends the booster shot for people with underlying medical conditions, as well as those who live and/or work in high-risk settings (i.e. eldercare facility). 

The booster shot can be administered six months following a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. If you originally received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and it’s been at least two months, ask your primary health provider if a booster dose is right for you. The CDC recommends a booster shot for individuals over the age of 18.

Can I mix and match brands?

For those receiving an additional dose, it’s advised that you continue with the same brand of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses when possible. If you’re unsure of which brand you received, either can be given for your third dose.

If you are receiving a booster dose, you can choose the same brand you previously received or opt for a different brand.

If you have any questions or concerns about the current booster recommendations or which shot is best for your individual medical situation, consulting with your doctor is the best course of action. As the options to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and maintain immunity against the Coronavirus continue to expand, you can always count on Avail Hospital to deliver the latest available information.

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