Some people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (meaning they have a weakened immune system) should get three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine rather than the standard two-dose regimen.
Who is eligible for a third dose?
People who are age 12 or older, have a condition or are taking medications or treatments that moderately or severely weakens their immune system, and got either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are eligible for a third dose.
Examples of conditions and treatments include:
• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
• Advanced or untreated HIV
• Getting active treatment for cancer
• Getting active treatment with a high dose of corticosteroids or other drugs that moderately or severely weaken the immune system
• Have received an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressive therapy
• Have received a stem cell transplant within the past two years
Why is a third dose recommended?
The recommendation is based on studies that show some people who are immunocompromised do not build the same amount of immunity after getting vaccinated as people who are not immunocompromised. A third dose may improve the immune response.
How do I know if I need a third dose?
You should discuss getting a third dose with your health care provider. They will consider your medical conditions and treatment, risk of COVID-19 infection and other factors. At this time, antibody tests are not recommended for determining whether you have immunity (protection) against COVID-19.
Is it safe to get a third dose?
Yes. The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and independent experts determined that the benefits of getting a third dose outweigh any known or potential risks.
When should I get my third dose?
You should get your third dose at least 28 days after your second dose.
Does the third dose need to be of the same vaccine brand as the first two doses?
Your third dose should be of the same vaccine brand as your first two doses, if possible. If you cannot get the same vaccine brand (Pfizer or Moderna), you can get the other brand (Pfizer or Moderna).
What about people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?
People age 18 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster dose at least two months after their initial Johnson & Johnson dose. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health/covidvaccine and look for Booster Shot Recommendation for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Recipients.
Watch this short video to learn more about the Covid vaccine in New York City https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q21loWEXngI