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Booster Doses

All Delawareans ages 5+ who have received the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster dose.  Those who are ages 5 – 11 are eligible for the original monovalent booster, while those 12+ are now eligible for the new bivalent booster. COVID-19 vaccines continue to be very effective when it comes to preventing hospitalizations and death, but effectiveness against getting the virus may be reduced over time largely due to the emergence of new variants. Boosters increase the strength of your antibody response and your protection against COVID infection, hospitalization and deaths.

See below to find out when you can boost your protection!

What’s the Latest News on Booster Doses?

*Updated: 08/31/2022

On Aug. 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer and Moderna for their new bivalent boosters which target two strains of COVID-19 – the original strain of the virus and two of the Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5), the current most widespread variants in the world.   

In order to receive the bivalent booster:

  • Individuals need to have completed the primary series of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines (Novovax not currently authorized as a booster.)
  • It must be two months since their last primary or booster dose of any vaccine.
  • As of 8/31/22, original (monovalent) boosters are no longer authorized for persons 12 and older; they will only be able to receive the bivalent booster

The Pfizer bivalent booster is currently authorized for ages 12 and older while Moderna’s is currently authorized for 18 years of age and older.

Authorization for bivalent boosters in children under 12 is expected in the near future, but the timeline is not yet clear.  Parents are encouraged to have their children complete the primary series of the current vaccines so that they will be eligible for the bivalent booster in the future.  As such, parents of children under 12 should consider having them receive the original booster at this time if it’s been five months since their last dose.

Am I Eligible for a Booster Dose and Which One?

You are eligible for a bivalent booster dose if you:

  • Are 12+ and it has been 2 months after your last dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax (second dose, third dose, or booster dose) or 2 months since your initial dose of Johnson & Johnson.
    • Those 12-17 who got a Moderna primary series can only get Pfizer bivalent booster
    • J&J is only for those 18+ and they are recommended to get either a Pfizer or Moderna booster

You are eligible for a monovalent (original) booster dose if you:

  • Are 5-11 years of age and it has been 5 months after your last dose of Pfizer or Moderna (second dose or third dose if immunocompromised)

In addition, people who recently had SARS-CoV-2 infection may consider delaying a primary series dose or booster dose by 3 months from symptom onset or positive test (if infection was asymptomatic). Studies have shown that increased time between infection and vaccination may result in an improved immune response to vaccination. Also, a low risk of reinfection has been observed in the weeks to months following infection. Individual factors such as risk of COVID-19 severe diseaseCOVID-19 community level, or characteristics of the predominant SARS-CoV-2 strain should be taken into account when determining whether to delay getting a COVID-19 vaccination after infection.  Individuals should consult with their health care provider to make the best decision for them.

Other important information:

Where Can I Get a Booster Dose?

For a complete list of locations where vaccines and booster doses are available, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine. If you’re looking for a specific vaccine brand, use the search on vaccines.gov that can help you find a location with that brand in stock.

Those who are eligible for a booster dose are recommended to seek them at existing vaccine sites including pharmacies, health care providers, DPH clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (for patients).


Additional (Third) Doses

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for the administration of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. Emerging data suggest some people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems do not always build the same level of immunity compared to people who are not immunocompromised, and as a result may benefit from a third dose of the mRNA vaccines.

Providers may administer a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to individuals in the following categories who received either vaccine the first time:

  • Recipients of organ or stem cell transplants
  • People with advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active recipients of treatment for cancer
  • People who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system

Providers may administer an additional dose of only the Pfizer vaccine for immunocompromised youth.

  • Immunocompromised children 5 to 11 can receive a third  pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Immunocompromised children 12 to 17 can receive a third dose of Pfizer.

On Sept. 10, 2021, the Delaware Division of Public Health issued a Health Update for physicians reminding them that they may use clinical judgment and consider additional factors when determining a person’s level of immunocompetence (being immunocompromised) – and whether they may benefit from a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna.  Providers may consider advanced age, particularly 85 years and older, residency in a long-term care facility, residency in a congregate setting, or debilitating disease and comorbidities as additional factors. *Age or residency in a congregate setting alone should not be considered a determining factor for being immunocompromised.

The third mRNA dose may only be administered at least four weeks (28 days) after completing the original two-dose vaccine series. The CDC also recommends a bivalent booster dose, 2 months after receiving a third dose for these individuals over 12 years of age and a monovalent booster dose 5 months after receiving a third dose for those 5-12 years of age.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Individuals 18 years and older who initially received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible for an “Additional” dose under these conditions, but are eligible for a bivalent booster dose of any of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines two months after receiving their initial dose.

People who meet any of these categories are encouraged to contact their primary care or specialty care provider with questions or for a vaccine. If your provider is not administering vaccines, you may go to any pharmacy or DPH Vaccination clinic for your vaccine or booster after determining the best course of action with your provider.

For more information, visit  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html


Questions?


Lost Your Vaccine Record Card?

View instructions on how to search for your immunization records information.

DPH does not replace lost vaccine cards, but Delawareans can find and print their (or their child’s) vaccination record. Anyone who has difficulty finding their record can call 1-800-282-8672, or email DelVAX@delaware.gov. Responses to emails and calls received after regular business hours or on weekends may take up to 48 hours.

 

 

Do you or someone you know want to get the vaccine and need assistance? Contact our call center at 1-833-643-1715

Report Vaccination Violations

Submit complaints about a vaccination provider by using this form, if you think they are violating any of these requirements.

Get More COVID Data

For more data on Delaware COVID cases, testing and outcomes, including demographic breakdowns, go to My Healthy Community