Who should get an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
People with certain cancers and those who are receiving treatment that suppresses the immune system may have a weaker response to COVID-19 vaccines than people whose immune systems are not compromised.
You may be moderately or severely immunocompromised if you:
have been receiving cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
had an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
had a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
are taking high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune system
have a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
have advanced or untreated HIV infection
CDC recommends that people as young as age 5 whose immune systems are moderately to severely compromised get an additional vaccine dose as part of their primary vaccine series to improve their immune response to the vaccine and to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19.
CDC also recommends that people who received stem cell transplants or CAR T-cell therapy after getting a COVID-19 vaccination should be revaccinated with a primary vaccine series.
Visit CDC’s website for more information about COVID-19 vaccines for immunocompromised people, and ask your doctor if you should get an additional dose.
Is a COVID-19 booster shot different from an additional dose? Who should get a booster shot?
An additional vaccine dose is given to some immunocompromised people who may not mount a good immune response after primary vaccination.
It is different from a booster shot, which is given when protection from primary vaccination is likely to have waned over time.
CDC recommends a COVID-19 booster shot for everyone aged 18 and older, and for teens as young as aged 12 who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their primary series.
If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised and had a primary vaccine series with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine followed by an additional vaccine dose, you should get a booster shot after the additional dose.
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