People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should receive an additional dose after the initial two doses. This additional dose is intended to make sure that immunocompromised individuals have enough protection against COVID-19 as they may not build the same level of immunity from the two-dose vaccine series as people who are not immunocompromised.
The additional Pfizer or Moderna dose should be of the same product as the initial vaccine series. However, if the vaccine administered previously is not available, the other mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. Nobody should receive more than three COVID-19 vaccine doses.
At this time, additional doses are not recommended for those vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Additional doses are not recommended for anybody who is not immunocompromised. Separately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a plan for COVID-19 booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals, pending FDA approval and a recommendation from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. A booster dose is a supplemental dose of vaccine given to people when the immune response weakens over time. The NJ Department of Health is preparing for booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the general public and additional details will be shared as they are available.
People who are severely or moderately immunocompromised are eligible for an additional dose. This includes people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
If you do not know whether you are immunocompromised or if you should get an additional dose, please ask your healthcare provider for guidance.
Additional information about immunocompromised persons and COVID-19 vaccination is available from the CDC.
When to Get a Third Dose
It is recommended that eligible individuals get their third dose if at least four weeks have passed since their previous vaccination was completed.
Where to Get a Third Dose
Any eligible person can get their third dose at any existing vaccination location without a prescription. New Jersey residency is not required. Use the Vaccine Appointment Finder to make an appointment for your third dose at any vaccination location. There is currently widespread vaccine availability across the United States, and walk-in vaccination is available at many locations.
What to Bring to Your Third Dose Appointment
Individuals should bring their CDC Vaccination Card or other documentation of the vaccine doses they have received—including the digital record via the Docket app. If individuals don’t have their vaccine card or their digital COVID-19 record via the Docket app, the vaccine provider should look up the individual’s vaccine record on the state’s vaccine registry.
People who want a third dose should identify themselves as immunocompromised. Proof of immunocompromised status is not required. A prescription is not required.
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.