COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose

Who can get booster doses?

COVID-19 Vaccine booster doses are available to the following people who received Pfizer for their primary series: 

Examples of underlying medical conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, dementia or other neurological conditions, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, pregnancy, Sickle cell disease, substance use disorders. For a full list and more information on underlying medical conditions, visit CDC’s page on People with Certain Medical Conditions | CDC 

Examples of high-risk settings include healthcare, school, correctional, and public transit settings. For more information on high-risk settings, visit CDC’s page on booster doses. 

CDC recommends that people age 65 years or older and people age 50-64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster dose of Pfizer. 

People age 18-49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster dose of Pfizer, based on their individual benefits and risks. 

People age 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings may receive a booster dose of Pfizer, based on their individual benefits and risks. 

When can I get a booster?

Booster doses are available to eligible Rhode Islanders as of Friday, September 24. Eligible Rhode Islanders can now make appointments for booster doses. We expect small changes in online systems for registration over the coming days to reflect new eligibility. Thank you for your patience. 

People who are eligible should get their booster doses at least six months after second dose of Pfizer. 

We expect demand for Pfizer vaccine to be higher from the end of September through October given our very high vaccination rates. We encourage everyone to make an appointment to get vaccinated when possible. This will help Rhode Island be able to administer vaccines quickly and efficiently.

If you are eligible, make an appointment for a Pfizer booster at vaccinateRI.org or at one of the options listed at C19VaccineRI.org. If you need help making an appointment, please call 844-930-1779 or 2-1-1. 

What are COVID-19 vaccine boosters?

A booster dose is a dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who is already vaccinated and received protection from that vaccination, but that protection decreased over time.

 

No. The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. They even provide protection against the Delta variant. However, there is some evidence that the protection may be decreasing in some populations, particularly against the Delta variant which spreads very easily. Because of this, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering providing booster doses to those vaccinated people whose immunity may be waning so they can stay protected and we can keep the progress we’ve made over the last few months. 

Not exactly. Sometimes people who have weakened immune systems do not build enough protection when they first get vaccinated. When this happens, an additional or third dose can help these people get the same protection as people with healthy immune systems. CDC recommends people with moderately to severely weakened immune systems consider receiving a third dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after they got their second COVID-19 dose.  

A booster dose is a dose of vaccine given to someone who has built up protection after vaccination, but that protection is decreasing over time. There are lots of vaccines that require booster doses, like tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough), or Tdap.  

For more information on COVID-19 Vaccines, please see our Vaccine FAQs.

Not at this time. Only Pfizer has been authorized for booster doses at this time. The FDA has not yet met to review Moderna or Johnson & Johnson data on booster doses. We will provide updates on Moderna and J&J vaccines as information becomes available.

When you get vaccinated, you’ll get a vaccination card that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you got and the date and location of your vaccination. Keep this card which is the best record of your vaccination.

Rhode Islanders can also get a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record through portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord. From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If you need an additional dose of vaccine, this record will tell you when you are eligible to get your additional dose. Please note that only people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island will be able to look up their vaccination record online.  

If you are having trouble finding your vaccination record or are not able to go online, you can call 401-222-8022 or 844-930-1779 for help. You can also call your primary care physician to check your vaccine record.

If you need to correct anything in your vaccination record, please fill out and submit the RICAIR COVID-19 Immunization Record Correction Request Form.

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