Third Dose vs. Booster Shots

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Provided by Prince William County Joint Information Center

Booster Dose

    • A booster dose of vaccine is administered when an initial sufficient immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned (decreased) over time. 
    • A primary vaccine series is defined as either two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna) separated by the recommended number of 21 or 28 days or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
    • Booster doses for COVID-19 are not currently recommended, however, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP) will review data on booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines in a systematic and transparent process.

Additional (Third mRNA) Dose

    • An additional dose is administered when certain people with weakened immune systems do not have a strong enough immune response to the initial two-dose mRNA vaccine series.
    • A third dose of mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) is now recommended at least 28 days after the second dose for people with weakened immune systems

When will Individuals need a booster vaccine dose?

This information is currently not available. For planning purposes, the federal government is looking at least eight months after completion of the primary series. However, regulatory and recommending agencies Food and Drug Administration (FDA and CDC) will need to first review the data before providing official recommendations regarding the timing of the booster vaccine dose. At This Time the PWHD WILL NOT offer or administer Booster Shots, only Third Doses to eligible individuals.

Why should individuals not try to get a COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose before it is formally recommended?

Getting the vaccine booster dose too soon (before you need it) might not provide additional protection. Getting a vaccine booster dose too late may put you at risk for severe COVID-19.

Care for any adverse effects in individuals who receive a COVID-19 booster dose outside of FDA, ACIP, and CDC recommendations are not covered by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP)These public health agencies take a number of factors into consideration (including timing of vaccine booster doses to maximize benefits) before providing formal recommendations.

Mobile Clinic Unit

  • Tuesday Sept. 7, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
    • La Azteca Grocery, 2928 Dale Blvd., Woodbridge
    • First, Second, and Third doses. People who are immunocompromised may receive a third dose.
    • COVID-19 Vaccines Pfizer (for 12 and older) Johnson and Johnson (18 and older).
  • Tuesday, Sept. 7, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
    • Wegmans Food Market, 14801 Dining Way, Woodbridge
    • First, Second, and Third doses. People who are immunocompromised may receive a third dose.
    • COVID-19 Vaccines Pfizer (for 12 and older) Johnson and Johnson (18 and older).
    • No appointments are required. Walk-ins are accepted as long as supplies last. Weather permitting.

Protection From COVID-19: The CDC and VDH continue to recommend wearing your mask, washing your hands, social distancing, and avoiding large crowds as additional ways to continue to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19 and its variants.

To Find Vaccines Near You:

Visit Vaccines.gov  or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829).

Call Virginia’s call center at 877-VAX-in-VA (877-829-4682) to make an appointment or for questions.

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