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Booster and Additional Dose
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COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recommends a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 5 years or older, and for children aged 6 months or older who received Moderna. A booster is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the primary series has been completed to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine.
On October 12, 2022, OHA authorized the use of updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna as boosters in Oregon. A bivalent vaccine targets multiple strains of an illness, in this case the original strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron strain. It teaches your immune system how to identify and protect against both of these strains, offering a broad protection against COVID-19.
The updated booster is recommended for everyone who:
- Is 5 years old or older (or 6 months and older if they received Moderna) and
- Completed a primary series of any COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago or
- Received their last dose of any brand of monovalent (not updated) booster at least 2 months ago, regardless of how many booster doses you have previously received.
Both Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines have been found to be safe and effective, regardless of which brand of vaccine someone has received before. As a booster dose, they can be used interchangeably for anyone 5 years or older who meets the eligibility requirements for either vaccine.
Novavax booster also available
On October 19, 2022 the FDA expanded the EUA for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine allowing it to be used as a booster dose for people 18 years old or older. Novavax is recommended for people who are unable, or unwilling, to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Youth ages 12-17 who completed a primary series of Novavax are not eligible to receive a Novavax booster at this time, but are able to receive an updated, bivalent mRNA booster at least two months after completing their Novavax series.
The Novavax booster is available for anyone who:
- Is 18 years old or older and
- Completed the primary series of any authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago and
- Has not received any COVID-19 booster
Additional Dose for Immunocompromised Individuals
For individuals with an immunocompromising condition, or who take medication which compromises their immune system, an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine is recommended as part of the primary vaccination series. This means that, for these people, instead of receiving two doses a month apart when they are first vaccinated against COVID-19, they would receive three doses with a month between each one. For those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a second primary dose is recommended at least 28 days after the first dose. This additional dose should be a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Details are slightly different depending on which vaccine brand the individual receives, how old the person is, and their medical history. Ask your doctor at the time of your vaccination, or visit the OHA for full details.
Booster Dose for Immunocompromised Individuals
The CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and over receive an updated, bivalent COVID-19 booster dose, and that children 6 months or older who received Moderna also receive a bivalent booster. This includes immunocompromised individuals who have received multiple booster doses already, but have not received a bivalent booster. If your last booster was administered before September 2022, you are likely due for an updated booster. Ask your doctor at the time of your vaccination, or visit the OHA for full details.