A new Pfizer-BioNtech booster recommendation for those 65 and older and other groups

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccine to be given six months after completion of the initial COVID-19 vaccination series for the following groups:

  • People ages 65 and older
  • People ages 18 through 64 at high risk of severe COVID-19
  • People ages 18 through 64 with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19, including health care workers, teachers and child care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons

A third vaccine dose is not recommended for everyone at this time. Those who qualify have risk factors that would predispose them to the more serious symptoms of the virus. Others are those who work in a front-line role that puts them a greater risk of regular exposure.

At this time, there is no booster recommendation for people in these categories who originally received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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People with compromised immunity encouraged to seek a 3rd dose of Pfizer or Moderna

The CDC and FDA previously provided guidance about a third dose of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna only) for those who are immunocompromised, including:

  • People who have received an organ transplant
  • People with cancer who are receiving active chemotherapy
  • People who have HIV
  • People who take medications that suppress their immune function

If you are immunocompromised, it is recommended that you get the same vaccine that you received previously and get it at least 28 days after completing the initial series. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient who meets these criteria, you likely have received a communication in your Mayo Clinic portal account encouraging you to seek a third dose.

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COVID-19 vaccines are your best protection and easy to find

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and widely available in the state of Arizona.

Being vaccinated is your most important personal protection against serious outcomes of COVID-19. If you have not already received your initial vaccine series, Mayo Clinic recommends that you protect yourself and others by getting the vaccine right away.

The Maricopa County and state of Arizona health departments can point you to a close and convenient vaccination site. Adults age 18 and older are eligible for all vaccines. Children 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

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Many people have questions about the vaccine. Get updates on COVID-19 and the latest on vaccines anytime on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

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