Skip Navigation

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster: Update From Johns Hopkins Medicine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend COVID-19 boosters or additional vaccine doses for individuals who meet certain criteria. To help you determine if you are eligible and to schedule an appointment, please read each step below carefully.

  1. Eligibility
  2. Medical History Related to Immunosuppression
  3. Schedule

A few things to remember:

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine has limited booster/additional dose appointments at some of its Maryland locations.
  • Retail pharmacies, mobile vaccination clinics (walk-up) and local and state vaccination sites offer booster appointments. Some locations may offer walk-up vaccination times.
  • A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their vaccine series, and protection against the virus has decreased over time.
  • An additional dose is administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series.

Step 1: Are you eligible?

1st booster: Everyone 5 and older should get a booster when eligible. Please review the CDC’s booster guidelines for details. (Timelines will vary for those who are immunocompromised.)

2nd booster: Adults 50 and older, and those 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Please review the CDC’s booster guidelines for details.

 


Step 2: Identify If You are Considered Immunosuppressed

The CDC and the FDA recommend an additional dose at least 28 days after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months after the first dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson for those who have a qualifying medical condition associated with immunosuppression.

These include people who:

  • Have 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 two years, or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Are diagnosed with HIV and have a high viral load or low CD4 count, or are not currently taking medication to treat HIV
  • Are taking drugs like high-dose steroids or other medications that may cause severe suppression of the immune system

The CDC also recommends a booster shot 3 months after the additional primary shot for those who received Pfizer or Moderna, and 2 months after shot 1 for those who received Johnson & Johnson.

If you are not sure whether you fit into any of these categories, please contact your medical provider. For more details, please review the CDC’s information for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.


Step 3: Get Your Booster or Additional Dose

Mix and Match

Individuals ages 18 and older can receive a COVID-19 booster or additional dose that is a different brand than their initial dose or doses. The CDC recommends that individuals age 18 or older receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for either a booster or additional dose. While these two mRNA vaccines are preferred, the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine can be used as a booster in some situations.

Individuals ages 5–17 can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech booster, as this is the only booster currently authorized for this age group. A parent or guardian must accompany any individual under the age of 18 to the vaccine clinic and sign the COVID-19 vaccine consent form. Children ages 5–17 who do not have a signed consent form will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine or booster from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Scheduling

We encourage eligible patients to use all available resources to get a booster or additional dose. Retail pharmacies, mobile vaccination clinics (walk-up) and local and state vaccination sites offer booster appointments. Some locations may offer walk-up vaccination times.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has limited booster/additional dose appointments at some of its Maryland locations. Eligible patients can schedule an appointment online through MyChart, or call 443-997-1875 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patients will not be able to request a specific booster vaccine brand but you may be able to choose a location that is administering your preferred vaccine. Click here to see the vaccine brands offered at our sites.

Updated May 27, 2022

back to top button