Eligibility for a booster, third dose and fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Ohio State offers third dose and now fourth dose vaccines and booster vaccines for COVID-19. We follow eligibility standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

What's the difference between a booster, a third dose vaccine and a fourth dose vaccine?

Booster dose: An additional dose of vaccine given to patients expected to have had a normal immune response to the first two doses, but who are at risk for waning immunity against COVID-19 over time

Third dose: An additional dose of vaccine given to immunocompromised patients who may not have had an adequate response to the first two doses because of an impaired immune system 

Fourth dose: An additional dose of vaccine given to immunocompromised patients who may not have had an adequate response to the first three doses because of an impaired immune system

Everyone 16 and older should get a COVID-19 booster shot if: 

  • You received your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago
  • You received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago

Individuals 18 and older who have completed any COVID-19 vaccination series within the time frames above can get a booster dose from any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States. 

Those who are 16 or 17 years old, and have received a second Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago, are also eligible to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Who’s eligible for a third dose and a fourth dose vaccine?

The CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose.

Eligible conditions include:

  • Organ transplant
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Cancer patients who have had a diagnosis or active treatment within the last 5 years
  • Advanced or untreated HIV/AIDS
  • Primary immunodeficiency
  • Patients receiving IVIG, a biologic or other immunosuppressive medication (ex. mycophenolate)
  • Patients receiving >20 mg of Prednisone per day for longer than 14 days
  • Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL) who have been diagnosed at any time

How do I get my booster vaccine or third dose at Ohio State?

All booster and third dose vaccines must be scheduled in advance to validate your previous vaccine doses and make sure you receive the correct manufacturer. If you think you’re eligible for a third dose vaccine, log in to MyChart or call 614-688-8299 (VAXX) to schedule. When scheduling, you'll be able to choose from any of our vaccination sites

How do I get my fourth dose at Ohio State?

Eligible immunocompromised patients will not be able to schedule a fourth dose until they have reached 150 days after their third dose. Eligible patients past the 150-day mark will receive an automated phone message about scheduling. All fourth dose vaccines must be scheduled at Outpatient Care Upper Arlington. Scheduling for eligible patients is available through MyChart.