Who is eligible for a second booster?

The FDA and CDC have authorized and recommended second boosters for adults 50 years of age and older and immunocompromised people 12 years of age and older.

Experts at Henry Ford Health continuously review vaccination guidelines and scientific data. The data shows that protection against COVID-19 decreases over time after the first booster dose. The data also shows that everyone needs to get the first two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and a booster to be fully vaccinated. Getting the first two shots of Pfizer or Moderna or only one shot of Johnson & Johnson without a booster when you are eligible is not enough protection against COVID-19.

After reviewing the recent announcements from the FDA and CDC about second booster doses, Henry Ford Health recommends:

  • Children 5 through 11 years should receive 2 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the only product approved for children in this age group.
  • Everyone 12 years of age and older should receive the primary series (2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna) and one booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 
    • Immunocompromised people may receive an additional dose of the primary series (3 doses instead of 2).
  • Henry Ford Health recommends a second booster dose for the following people:
    • Anyone who is immunocompromised.
    • Anyone with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 disease. Read the list of medical conditions from the CDC. 
    • Adults 65 years of age and older.
  • Henry Ford Health supports a second dose for anyone 50 years of age or older who would like to maximize their protection against COVID-19 infection. If you are not sure you should get a second booster, talk to your healthcare provider.

Second boosters are now authorized and recommended by the FDA and CDC for:

People ages 50+: Ages 50+ who had a first booster of Pfizer or Moderna four months ago or longer can receive a second booster of Pfizer or Moderna.

People who received Johnson & Johnson vaccine: Ages 18+ who had a first dose of Johnson & Johnson and a Johnson & Johnson booster four months ago or longer can receive a second booster of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

People who are immunocompromised: 

  • Ages 12+ who are immunocompromised and had a first booster four months ago or longer can receive a second booster of Pfizer. 
  • Ages 18+ who are immunocompromised and had a first booster of Pfizer or Moderna four months ago or longer can receive a second booster of Moderna or Pfizer.

If you are immunocompromised and are not sure if another booster is right for you, talk to your healthcare provider. This Henry Ford Health LiveWell blog article has more information about who is considered immunocompromised.

Are boosters available?

Yes, boosters of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized and recommended by the FDA and CDC for all adults and for children ages 12+ who are immunocompromised. Here’s what to know.

  • Ages 18+ who were vaccinated with Moderna at least 6 months ago can receive a booster shot.
  • Ages 16+ who were vaccinated with Pfizer at least 5 months ago can receive a booster shot. 
  • Ages 18+ who were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna at least 6 months ago can receive a booster shot.
  • Ages 18+ who were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson at least 2 months ago can receive a booster shot.
  • Ages 5+ who are immunocompromised and were fully vaccinated at least 28 days ago with Pfizer can receive a booster shot.
  • Ages 18+ who are immunocompromised and were fully vaccinated at least 28 days ago with Moderna can receive a booster shot.
  • Regardless of the vaccine you already received, if you are 18+ you can receive Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson for your booster shot. (If you are under 18, you can only receive Pfizer.)

Can I get a booster of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson at Henry Ford?

We support and encourage you to receive a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster when you are eligible. Boosters of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are not available at our Primary Care sites. We offer only the Pfizer vaccine. If you prefer Moderna or Johnson & Johnson for your booster, please visit www.Michigan.gov/covidvaccine for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine sources near you.

Can we “mix and match” vaccines?

Yes, the FDA and CDC have advised that boosters of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are interchangeable. This means:

  • If you had Pfizer for your first two shots at least five months ago, or Moderna at least six months ago, you can receive any vaccine for a booster.
  • If you had Johnson & Johnson at least two months ago, you can receive any vaccine for a booster.

Henry Ford only offers boosters of Pfizer. If you make an appointment for a booster at one of our Primary Care sites, you will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Will the booster shot improve my protection against the Delta and Omicron variants?

Yes, it will improve your protection against all strains of the COVID-19 virus, including the Delta and Omicron variants. It will also reduce the chances of getting very sick, if you do contract COVID-19.

If appointments at Henry Ford are full, should I wait until an appointment is available to get a booster dose from Henry Ford?

No, you should not wait. We encourage you to get a booster when you are eligible. Please use one of the many other sources for boosters. Visit www.Michigan.gov/covidvaccine for options near you

Will I have to bring my COVID-19 vaccination card to my appointment?

No, but if you do bring your COVID-19 vaccination card, we will add the booster to your card.

Can my child get a booster of Pfizer?

Pfizer boosters are authorized and recommended for teens ages 16 and 17 years who had their second dose of Pfizer vaccine five months ago or longer. Henry Ford offers Pfizer boosters for this age group in our Primary Care centers. Teens must be current Henry Ford patients and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to receive the booster at Henry Ford. Only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents ages 16 and 17 years. 

Schedule an appointment using MyChart. If your teen is not a Henry Ford patient or you would like other options for vaccination, we encourage you to visit www.Michigan.gov/covidvaccine

Is the booster different from the original two shots?

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are the same as the original shots. Moderna is half the dose of the first two shots.

Will side effects be worse after the booster?

Side effects after a booster of Moderna or Pfizer are similar to what people experienced after receiving the first two shots. Most symptoms are mild to moderate, and the most common side effects are fatigue and injection-site pain.

People who received a booster of Johnson & Johnson reported milder side effects than the original shot.

What are the risks of getting the booster?

The safety profile is the same as for the first and second vaccine doses.

How effective is the booster shot?

Booster shots of mRNA coronavirus vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) increase antibodies by about 10 times.

Johnson & Johnson given two months after the first dose increases protection against moderate to severe disease from 85% to 94% and the amount of neutralizing antibodies increased four-fold. If the booster was given six months after the first shot, antibody levels increased 12-fold four weeks after the booster was given.

Will booster vaccines be developed that are different from the original vaccines?

Vaccine manufacturers are partnering with the U.S. government and other organizations to develop booster vaccines that may be designed to provide added protection against COVID-19 variants. Much like the current COVID-19 vaccines, researchers will evaluate booster vaccines to ensure they’re safe and to see how well they help people develop antibodies against the variants.

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