Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine
CDC has recommended third doses of COVID-19 vaccine for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to certain specific conditions:
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
Third doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available by appointment at Public Health Department clinics for Imperial County residents who meet these criteria. Residents who schedule an appointment will self-attest to their specific condition.
Please note: third doses are not available as walk-ins or at mobile/pop-up clinics.
You may also contact your local pharmacy or health care provider to learn about their process for providing third doses of vaccine.
A third dose can be administered to individuals who meet these criteria as soon as 28 days following the two-dose regimen of the same vaccine.
Imperial County residents who meet the CDC’s criteria and would like to get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine from the Public Health Department should take the following steps:
- Note: appointments for third doses will be available by Monday, August 23.
- Visit MyTurn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 (beginning August 23).
- Self-attest to the specific immune compromising condition (No doctor's note is needed.)
Local pharmacies may also provide third doses; you may contact them directly to schedule.
At this time, a third dose of the vaccine is recommended for people who have certain specific conditions that compromise their immune system.
On August 13, the FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to allow for the use of an additional third dose in significantly immunocompromised individuals, and the CDC is now recommending that immunocompromised individuals who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine get an additional dose. The recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines did not change recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who are immunocompromised Read more about the decision.
People with compromised immune systems may have a reduced ability to respond to vaccines, including for COVID-19. New data show that a third dose of the mRNA vaccines helps to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine for this group.
The need for this third dose 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 immune compromised.
Patients who are immune compromised should consult with their health care provider to discuss additional precautions and any questions they may have about protecting themselves from COVID-19.
No. The FDA and CDC have not approved nor recommend additional doses for people who do not have the conditions described in CDC criteria. Scientists will continue to study how long the immunity created by the COVID-19 vaccines will last and whether additional doses will be needed for the general public.
Like the first and second doses of the vaccine, reactions reported after the third dose included fatigue and pain at injection. Overall, most symptoms were mild to moderate and series side effects were rare.
- 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
People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. Read more about immunocompromised conditions.