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Booster Doses

*Original Pfizer BioN-Tech and Moderna monovalent boosters are no longer authorized for use in any age group

All Delawareans ages 5+ who have received the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for the new bivalent booster dose. Those 6 months to 5 years old who have received a Moderna primary series at least two months ago, can receive the bivalent booster. Individuals 6 months to 4 years old who have received the first two doses in the Pfizer primary series can receive the bivalent vaccine as a third primary series dose.

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. Bivalent boosters and vaccines increase the strength of your antibody response and your protection against COVID infection, hospitalization and deaths. The bivalent boosters and vaccines target two strains of COVID-19: the original strain of the virus, and two of the Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5), among the most widespread variants in the world.
See below to find out when you can boost your protection!

What’s the Latest News on Booster Doses?

*Updated 12/12/22
On Dec. 9, the US FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization to Moderna for the bivalent booster for ages 6 months – 5 years, and Pfizer for use as the third dose in the primary series for 6 months – 4 years of age, but not for use as a bivalent booster. See FDA press release here.

Those ages 5 and up were previously authorized for a Pfizer bivalent booster.

Specifically:

  • Children 6 months through 5 years of age who received the original (monovalent) Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are now eligible to receive a single booster of the updated (bivalent) Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine two months after completing a primary series with the monovalent Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have not yet begun their three-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or have not yet received the third dose of their primary series will now receive the updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as the third dose in their primary series following two doses of the original (monovalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have already completed their three-dose primary series with the original (monovalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will not be eligible for a booster dose of an updated bivalent vaccine at this time. Children in this age group who already completed their primary series would still be expected to have protection against the most serious outcomes from the currently circulating omicron variant.

Am I Eligible for a Booster Dose and Which One?

You are eligible for a bivalent booster dose if you:

  • Are 5+ 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.
    • J&J is only for those 18+ and Novavax is only for those 12+. Recipients of both brands for a primary series are recommended to get either a Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster. 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 disease, COVID-19 community level, or COVID-19 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.
  • Are 6 months+ and it has been at least two months since your last dose of Moderna. Pfizer is not currently authorized as a booster for those 6 months – 4 years, but can be used as the third dose in a primary series for this age group.

Other important information:

• Individuals may choose to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster, regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose they had previously (except for those under age 6 for Moderna).
• The original booster doses (the monovalent booster) are no longer authorized or available.
Booster doses are not yet authorized for those under age 5 who received all three doses of a Pfizer primary series. They are available for those 6 months to 4 years who have received only the first two doses of a Pfizer three-dose primary series
• There are similarities between the bivalent boosters, and the primary series vaccines for both certain Pfizer and Moderna products. Be an educated consumer and know what you need to look for:

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