COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose

What are booster doses?

A booster dose is a dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who has already had a primary vaccination series. Booster doses are recommended when protection from the primary series decreases over time. This is normal; there are lots of vaccines that require booster doses.   

Research shows that booster doses are effective at protecting against serious illness and hospitalization related to COVID-19. For more, see CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports.  

For the best protection against COVID-19, stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines. This includes getting a booster dose if you are eligible.  

Who should get a booster dose? 

Everyone age 5 or older who has already received a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.   

Some people should get two booster doses. People age 50 or older and people age 12 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems should get a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster dose.      

When can I get a booster? 

    COVID-19 vaccine recommendations are different depending on your age, health status, and when you were first vaccinated. If you have questions about your vaccination schedule, please speak with a healthcare provider. 

    In general, if you got your Pfizer or Moderna primary series, you can get a COVID-19 booster dose at least five months after completing your primary series.

    If you got Johnson & Johnson for your primary series, you can get a COVID-19 booster dose at least two months after your primary COVID-19 vaccination.

    People age 50 or older and people age 12 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems should get a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster dose. 

    People age 18 or older who got Johnson & Johnson for their primary COVID-19 vaccination and Johnson & Johnson for their first booster dose may choose to get a second booster dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) at least four months after their first booster dose.

    COVID-19 vaccination schedule for people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems

    There is a different COVID-19 vaccine schedule if you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised (e.g., you are receiving cancer treatment or you have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress your immune system). For more on who is considered to have a moderately to severely compromised immune system, please see the CDC page or speak with a healthcare provider.

    In general, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who got Pfizer or Moderna for their primary series should receive a third dose of mRNA vaccine 28 days after their second dose. They should also receive a booster dose at least three months after their third dose (four doses total).

    In general, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who got Johnson & Johnson for their primary series should receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine 28 days after their first dose. They should also receive a booster dose at least two months after their second dose (three doses total).

    People age 12 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems should get a second booster of mRNA vaccine at least four months after their first booster dose.  

    Where can I get my booster dose? 

    You can search for appointments at one of the options listed at C19VaccineRI.org. If you need help making an appointment, please call 2-1-1.  

    If you are unable to leave your home, you’re able to request services for in-home booster doses. Please visit this link for more information: https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination#athome

    For most people, CDC recommends getting one booster dose after getting your primary series. We are going to keep learning about this virus and its variants and how well our vaccines work against the virus, so this recommendation may change. We know that the protection offered by the vaccine weakens over time. Booster doses work well to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.  

    Some people should get two booster doses. People age 50 or older and people age 12 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems should get a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster dose. 

    People age 18 or older who got Johnson & Johnson for their primary COVID-19 vaccination and Johnson & Johnson for their first booster dose may choose to get a second booster dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) at least four months after their first booster dose. 

    If you have questions about whether a second booster dose is right for you, please talk to a healthcare provider. 

    In general, people should get the same vaccine they got for their primary series. If you have questions about which booster dose is right for you, please talk to a healthcare provider.    

    In most situations, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are preferred instead of the Johnson & Johnson (J&) COVID-19 vaccine because of the risk of serious adverse events after J&J vaccination.  

    People may still get J&J if they have an allergy to an ingredient in an mRNA vaccine. People may also get J&J if the choice is between getting J&J or not getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The benefits of getting vaccinated with J&J outweigh the risks of staying unvaccinated against COVID-19. Getting a booster dose of any COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized or approved in the US will increase your protection against COVID-19 and its variants.  

    The Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use by people age 18 or older. This means that people who are age 5 to 17 must choose the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster. Only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use by people younger than 18.    

    Only mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use as second booster doses. Eligible people who choose to get a second booster dose must choose between Pfizer and Moderna.   

    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine:

    Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine:

    Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine:

    The COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against emerging variants. However, scientists and researchers learned that protection from COVID-19 vaccines can decrease over time—especially in people age 65 or older. Getting a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine helps increase your protection against COVID-19 and its variants. This is normal; there are lots of vaccines that require booster doses.

    No. Sometimes people who have weakened immune systems do not build enough protection when they first get vaccinated. When this happens, an additional 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 get an additional 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.

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

    1/25/2022

    1. Paper Vaccination Card: 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. You can use this card as a record of your vaccination.
    2. SMART Health Card through the 401Health App: Rhode Islanders can also get a digital copy of their vaccination card with a QR code on it. When you travel to other states and countries or go to businesses or venues that require proof of vaccination, you can show your record with your QR code. The QR code can be scanned and will prove that your record is authentic. To get this digital record, download the 401Health app. In the app, select “My COVID-19 Vaccine Record.” Next, select “Add a COVID-19 Vaccination Record.” Follow the prompts to download your record.
    3. Portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord: 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.  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 for help. You can also call your primary care physician to check your vaccine record.

    If your vaccination record is missing or needs to be corrected, please fill out the record correction form at covid.ri.gov/recordcorrection.

    Requests to change your name, address, phone number, email, and/or date of birth within your vaccination record require that you provide proof of your identity in accordance with the following guidelines:

    • A copy of ONE (1) government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, military identification, certificate of naturalization, or alien registration card; or
    • A copy of TWO (2) documents that provide both your name and current address, including a utility bill, bank statement, insurance, car registration, pay stub, etc. (photocopies or cellphone photos of the documents are acceptable)

    Once your form is completed, please send it to the RI Child and Adult Immunization Registry (RICAIR) team for a record correction by email at [email protected] or by mail to RICAIR/KIDSNET Updates, 3 Capitol Hill, Room 302, Providence, RI 02908.

    Resources

    COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Flyer (English)