COVID-19 booster vs. third dose: what's the difference?

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Amid the rise of the delta coronavirus version, fears of reduced immunity due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases and the White House’s announcement that all adults will need a COVID-19 booster starting September 20, news floods with unsatisfactory advice. The confusing timeline about if, and when, you need a coronavirus booster has arrived. (If you are a person with a weakened immune system who has received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you Eligible for one extra shot now.)

But what exactly is a booster vaccine? Is it different from the third or extra shot? Does the meaning change if we are talking about a booster instead of a third dose?


As scientists and public health experts continue to communicate with the media and the public about the dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine, the two terms have sometimes been used synonymously. But we’re here to get technical, so there’s a difference in whether the third shot you’re likely to get is called a “booster” or “extra dose,” depending on your circumstances. Here we know.

For most of the COVID-19 booster shot timings are still in flux. everything to know today

a third or additional dose separated from the booster

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According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, an “extra dose” of the COVID-19 vaccine is for people who have not produced a sufficient immune response to the first two doses (or in the case of Johnson & Johnson, though one) for those immunized. Lack of data on Johnson & Johnson in ahead complicates things and excludes them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommendation for immunocompromised peopleAccording to the VA, the booster shot is for people whose immune response is likely to weaken over time.

Expanding on this argument, according to a Cleveland Clinic Q&A with Dr. Michelle Medina, The third dose is the one being given to people whose immune systems will not respond as well to the current COVID-19 regimen (one or two shots), and boosters are all given when our immunity gradually decreases, for example due to new forms like Delta.

When the Food and Drug Administration authorized another COVID-19 shot for some immunocompromised people in August, it did Pfizer’s “Extra Vaccine Dose”.

Reynolds Panettieri, director and vice chancellor of the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science Professor of Medicine, says understanding booster doses “depends on the vaccine and what is needed to achieve maximum immunity.” And with all we don’t know about the coronavirus, and the way our bodies build (and lose) immunity, it may not be fair to call any COVID-19 vaccine a “booster.” In fact, at least scientifically, it may be too early to use the word “booster”.

“We just don’t know with COVID whether the term ‘booster’ is appropriate,” he says, adding that he prefers the use of a “third dose.”

“Some of it is semantics,” Panettieri says.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine – Booster Shot Timeline, Eligibility and More

Shots That Are Definitely Boosters (and Aren’t)

“The reason there isn’t a flu vaccine booster is because every year, the vaccine changes,” Panettieri says. He says a good example of a booster vaccine for whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria, because you get a booster “when you know you have no more immunity that can be measured.” Another example of a booster is that for polio vaccine, he says, is what few adults can get, according to the CDC.

Without getting completely lost in weeds and words, and whether your bonus COVID-19 shot is referred to as a third dose or booster by your healthcare provider, the most important thing to know is your own health. is history. This is what will determine your eligibility to receive a second shot when it becomes available to you. In addition, there is no “extra,” “extra” or “boost” without first receiving the standard coronavirus vaccine regimen.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions you may have about a medical condition or health purposes.

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