Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Now Allowed for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals
On August 13, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided new recommendations for the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people. The CDC now recommends a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for these individuals.
The Chest and Immunization Center at the Lowell General Saints Campus will begin administering third doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals beginning Monday, August 23, 2021. Vaccinations for community members are available by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling our Central Scheduling Department at 978-937-6023.
Please note: The Chest and Immunization Center will primarily offer the Pfizer vaccine. If a community member received the Moderna vaccine for their first and second doses, they should visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a location that offers that option near them.
What is the difference between an additional dose and a booster dose?
Additional dose after a primary series: An additional dose of vaccine is administered when the immune response following a primary vaccine series is likely to be insufficient, as in the case of immunocompromised patients. The third dose should be the same vaccine as the first two. Those who got Pfizer for their first two doses should get Pfizer for their third and the same with Moderna. At present, there are no recommendations for an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
Booster dose: Initial immune response to a primary vaccine series is thought to be sufficient; however, an additional dose of vaccine is administered when the initial immune response to a primary series is likely to have waned over time.