What is a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
A COVID booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the immunity from the initial dose(s) starts to wear off over time. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.
Is St Bernard Drugs offering the vaccine booster?
Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), St Bernard Drugs is currently offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster to eligible patients. Eligible patients are individuals who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago and meet at least one of the criteria described here.
What is a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine?
A third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna is identical to the first two doses. It can help protect people with weakened immune systems who did not have a strong enough response to the first two doses of one of the mRNA vaccines. The FDA has authorized, and the CDC recommends, that those with certain medical conditions that suppress the immune system get a third dose of the same brand of COVID-19 vaccine that they initially received.
Who can get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine?
Based on CDC recommendations, third vaccine doses are available now for people who are considered moderately or severely immunosuppressed. These would include those who:
- Receive active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Have either had a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Were diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
- Are diagnosed with HIV and have a high viral load or low CD4 count, or are not currently taking medication to treat HIV.
- Are taking drugs such as high-dose steroids or other medications that may cause severe suppression of the immune system.
If you are not sure whether you fit into any of these categories, please contact your medical provider.