PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — COVID-19 booster shots and third doses aren’t one and the same.
A third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is for people who are at least 12 years old who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, according to the Food and Drug Administration said. This includes those who have received organ transplants or those in treatment for cancer. Pfizer and Moderna both have third doses available for people who last received their second dose at least 28 days ago. Read more about the FDA’s recommendations regarding third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine here.
A booster dose is for people whose immunity fades six months after getting a shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends a booster for people who are at least 65 years old, people between the ages of 50 and 65 with underlying medical conditions, or frontline workers such as nurses and grocery store employees. The CDC said a booster is less important for people ages 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions, or those working “high-risk” jobs.
“The vaccine is waning over time, people losing some immunity over six months, but the vaccine is still working against the delta variant,” said Oregon Health Authority Senior Advisor Dr. Ann Thomas.
The Pfizer booster shot — which has the same ingredients as the first two shots — is currently the only booster authorized by the FDA. A booster dose of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines is expected to be approved later this fall.
Doctors advise against mixing vaccine brands: people who got the Moderna shot should not get a Pfizer booster.
Most people hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.