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COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters and Additional Doses

By Colleen Cave

Recent studies conducted by the CDC are showing protection against COVID-19 through the vaccine may decrease over time. In order to prevent this, the FDA approved booster shots on August 23rd. The booster shot is a slightly different dose of the COVID-19 vaccine designed to increase immunity after it starts to fade over time. Another way you can improve your protection against COVID-19 is through a third dose. This is identical to the first doses, and is administered to help protect people who may not have had a strong enough response to the first two doses. Both methods help protect against COVID-19, but consult your doctor on which one is best for you to take.

Pfizer booster shots have been available approved since September 22, and on Thursday, October 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized extra does of the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson shots, as well.

What is the difference between a booster shot and an additional dose?

A booster shot is for those whose immune system may have weakened over time. An additional dose is for people who may not have had a strong enough immune response from the first set of doses.

Who is eligible for a booster shot?

● Received vaccine at least 6 months ago

● 65 and older

● 18+ live in long term care settings (ex. nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, assisted living facilities, etc.)

● 18+ with underlying medical conditions (ex. diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.)

● 18+ work in high risk settings (ex. first responders, education staff, food and agricultural workers, etc.)

● 18+ who live in high risk settings (ex. correctional facilities, homeless shelters, schools, etc.)

Who is eligible for an additional dose?

● Received vaccine at least 28 days before

● Those with weakened immune systems


o Receiving cancer treatment

o Advanced HIV

o Recently had an organ or cell transplant

o Taking medication that hinders immune system

o Been diagnosed with a moderate-to-severe primary immunodeficiency

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