How do I get the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? What if I got my first shot in a different state?

Aug 13, 2021 | CoVid-19

Everyone should receive two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for maximum protection against the virus.

If you have already received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the second shot increases the vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 to 94%. Two weeks after your second dose, you will be considered fully vaccinated and able to resume activities that you stopped because of the pandemic.

The second dose of the vaccine must be the same brand as the first. These vaccines are not interchangeable.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine only requires a single dose. You do not need to get a second dose of the Janssen vaccine.

Note: The FDA and CDC have authorized and recommended that severely or moderately immunocompromised individuals should get an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect from the highly transmissible Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. Learn more about who is eligible and how to get an additional shot.

Second Dose Location

Residents can get their second dose at any vaccine location and do not need to return to the site where they received their first dose. Use the Vaccine Appointment Finder to make an appointment for your second dose at any vaccination location. There is currently widespread vaccine availability across the United States.

The State’s six megasites are beginning to schedule final shots but will remain open to ensure that everyone who scheduled their second doses at these sites receive them. The last day of second shots areJune 18th in Gloucester County, June 19th in Atlantic County, 24th in Bergen County, July 16th in Morris County, July 17th in Middlesex County, and July 23rd in Burlington County. If walk-in individuals receive a first dose from megasites for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine while these sites are still open, the healthcare partner at the site will assist in booking an appointment for their second dose.

Second Dose Timing

It is recommended that individuals get their second dose as close to the recommended date as possible:

  • For Pfizer: 21 days after first dose
  • For Moderna: 28 days after first dose

However, if you missed your appointment, it is not too late. There is no known loss of efficacy of the second dose as long as someone receives the second dose within six weeks of receiving their first dose.


The State’s toll-free vaccination hotline (1-855-568-0545) is available from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week to register individuals in the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System, answer questions about the vaccine, provide contact information for sites, and check registration status.

Source: COVID-19 Briefingshttps://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/COVID_vax_second_dose_infographic.pdf ; https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/slowing-the-spread/how-do-i-get-the-second-dose-of-the-pfizer-or-moderna-vaccine-what-if-i-got-my-first-shot-in-a-different-state

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