Eligibility for a booster or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

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

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

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

Booster dose: An additional dose of vaccine (currently only Pfizer) 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

Who's eligible for a booster vaccine? 

The following patients are eligible and should receive a booster dose at least six months after receiving their second Pfizer shot:

The following patients are eligible and may choose to receive a booster dose at least six months after receiving their second Pfizer shot:

  • Age 18 to 49 who is at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions based on their individual benefits and risks
  • Age 18 to 49 who is at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting based on their individual benefits and risks
    • Individuals at "occupational risk" are defined by the CDC to include health care workers, first responders, teachers and other education staff, corrections workers, among others

At this time, there is no booster recommendation for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Who’s eligible for a third 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

At this time there is no additional dose recommendation for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

If eligible, 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.