COVID-19 boosters: Who’s eligible, when?

August 23, 2021 Providence News Team

covid booster

In this article: 

  • If you previously received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine, watch for additional doses to be offered this fall.
  • If you have a weakened immune system and previously received the Pfizer or Modern vaccine, you may be eligible now for a third dose. Talk with your health care provider about whether a third dose is right for you and how to get your dose, if recommended.

This week, public health and medical experts announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall, subject to more evaluation.

Providence is reviewing the new recommendations to make sure we understand what they mean for our patients, and how to put these recommendations into practice. Further direction for other patients is expected from local public health authorities.

Please continue to wear a mask in public spaces, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for helping us stop the spread of this virus.

Information for high-risk individuals

The CDC and FDA have already approved and recommended a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people who have weakened immune systems. At this time, Providence is only making booster appointments for these high-risk individuals, as recommended by their provider.

People in this category include:

  • Those receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Those who have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Those who have received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Those with advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Those undergoing active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune system.

Things to know:

  • Third doses are authorized only for Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at this time.
  • We are still waiting to hear whether a second dose will be authorized for Johnson & Johnson.
  • For a third dose, you should receive the same brand as your initial vaccine series. The other brand may be used if the original is unavailable.
    • This means if you had Pfizer for your first and second doses, your third dose also should be Pfizer.
    • But, if Pfizer is unavailable, it’s OK to get Moderna.
  • The third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should be given at least 28 days after your last dose.

We know the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19. But, those with weakened immune systems may experience less immunity from the vaccine and benefit from the additional protection of another dose. People with moderately or severely weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are at risk of more serious, prolonged illness.

If you are eligible to receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine based on the recent authorization, talk with a health care provider about your medical condition, whether a third dose is right for you and how to get your dose, if recommended.

About the Author

The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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