Do I Need A COVID Vaccine Booster If I Received My Initial Two Dose Series?

COVID Vaccine Booster

The FDA approved booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those with immunocompromised or weakened immune systems.  The CDC and FDA noted that a weakened immune system in individuals who have had solid organ transplant or on chronic immunosuppressive therapy, cancer treatment and people with HIV.

 The agencies have not commented on patients with autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, rheumatologic diseases NOT on immunosuppressive therapy, and tick borne illness.  We expect the CDC to issue further guidance perhaps in the next week for all eligible individuals on boosters. Note that those over 65 have not yet been included either. To read more, find more information here.

The booster vaccine are the exact same formulation as the first and second shots of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The federal agencies are encouraging patients to receive the same brand manufacturer as their first and second doses, though they are not mandating it.  Both Pfizer and Moderna are working with formulations of “boosters for the general population,” which may entail combinations of mRNA that help to protect people from variants of concern or variants of consequence.

The NY times published an article on August 16,2021 suggesting that the Biden administration will recommend boosters for all people 8 months after their last dose.  This fall could be quite busy for hospitals and pharmacies as they administer COVID vaccine boosters and flu shots. Patience will be very important as we enter the next few months. Keep wearing your masks.

Prerana R. Sangani, MD, MPH, August 17, 2021