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Second Booster Doses for Older and Immunocompromised Individuals

April 13, 2022

On March 29, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals. On the same date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended additional boosters.

Following approval from both the FDA and CDC, NYC began administering second booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who are over the age of 50 or who are moderate to severely immunocompromised on April 7th.

Now a second booster dose of these vaccines is available to these populations at higher risk for severe illness and hospitalization. There is evidence suggesting that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe disease. There are no new safety concerns associated with receiving a second booster.

What you need to know about second-booster eligibility:

  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine may be administered to moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals 12 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A second booster dose of the Moderna vaccine may be administered to moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals 18 years of age and older at least 4 months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.

New Yorkers 18 years and older who received Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) as both their first dose and first booster vaccine at least four months previously are also eligible to receive a second booster. All second booster doses must be either Pfizer or Moderna.

If an individual was recently sick or tested positive for COVID-19, a booster shot can be received after the end of their isolation period.

Who is immunocompromised?

An immunocompromised individual has a weakened immune system. According to the CDC, A person with certain medical conditions is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. In addition, older adults are more at risk, with the risk increasing with age. Therefore, staying up-to-date with vaccines, and getting a second booster if eligible is especially important for these individuals.

Some medical conditions an immunocompromised individual may have include:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Chronic liver disease (CLD)
  • Chronic lung diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other lung diseases
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
  • Heart conditions
  • HIV infection

Other conditions may be applicable. For more information, a healthcare provider should be consulted.

Stay informed

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

COVID-19: Vaccine

New York State Department of Health

Booster Doses

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised People

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Do I qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine booster and which one?