Information about COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots and Third Doses

At this time, federal health officials recommend additional doses of the certain COVID-19 vaccines for specific groups of people. Public health officials ask that you only seek a third dose or a booster if you qualify for one at this time. The FDA and CDC are expected to issue additional recommendations in the coming weeks.

Booster Shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control recommends booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine only for the following groups:

These booster shots are intended to bolster the effect of the initial two doses of the vaccine. Data has shown that after several months the effectiveness of the vaccine, while still substantial, does decline somewhat. This does not mean that the vaccine is no longer working. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccines still work very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. The booster shots will help vaccinated people maintain that protection over the coming months.

Booster shots are used for many types of vaccines, such as for tetanus or whooping cough. Unlike an additional dose of vaccine that is given to individuals who are immunocompromised and do not build up enough protection when they get the initial vaccination, booster doses are given to people who have built enough protection after their vaccine, but that protection decreases over time, a situation called waning immunity.

Learn more about COVID-19 booster shots.

Where to Get a Booster Shot

Third Doses for People who are Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised

Federal health officials have recommended that people who have moderately or severely compromised immune systems receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. A third dose can be administered to these individuals at least 28 days following the two-dose regimen of the same vaccine.

Individuals who are immunocompromised are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 and are at a higher risk for prolonged COVID infection and viral shedding. They are also more likely to transmit the COVID-19 virus to household contacts and are more likely to have breakthrough infections.

Individuals with moderate to severe immunocompromise include those who:

The need for the third dose for this group is not due to a waning effect of the two-dose regimen; rather, data show the standard two-dose regimen does not produce the same degree of protective effect in immunocompromised individuals as it does in people who are not immunocompromised. Patients who are immunocompromised should consult with their health care provider to discuss additional precautions and any questions they may have about protecting themselves from COVID-19.

Learn more about the CDC recommendations for third doses.

Where to Get a Third Dose of Pfizer or Moderna if You are Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised

Where to Get an Additional Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Public health officials ask that you only seek a third dose or a booster if you qualify for one at this time. The FDA and CDC are expected to issue recommendations in the coming weeks.

In addition to pharmacies in our region, many county health departments are offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are immunocompromised and to those who qualify for booster shots.

Genesee County

Livingston County

The Livingston County Health Department is not currently offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics. In addition to listings on this website, they suggest contacting your local pharmacy or Tri-County Family Medicine for vaccine availability. For updates, visit https://www.livingstoncounty.us/1207/Coronavirus-Disease-2019.

If you are over 60, the Livingston County Department of Health and the Livingston County Office for the Aging can help you find a COVID-19 vaccine and can provide information about booster doses. Please call 585-243-7520 or 585-243-7270.

Monroe County

Ontario County

Orleans County

Seneca County

Wyoming County

Wayne County

Yates County