Letter from Your DOHC COVID-19 Task Force

September 23, 2021

An Update from Desert Oasis HealthCare Taskforce:

COVID-19 BOOSTER INFO

Is there an age limit to who can get the additional dose of booster vaccine dose?

  • For additional doses for people who are immunocompromised, the age limit is 12+ for Pfizer and 18+ for Moderna
  • A booster dose has only been approved for people who have received the original series of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Who is eligible for a booster vaccine dose?

  •  Anyone who received a 2 dose series of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago who also meets the below criteria:
  • Over 65 years of age
  • Lives in a Long Term Care Facility (LTCF)
  • 18-64 years of age with an underlying condition (link to the extensive list of who this includes)

What is the difference between the regular vaccine, an additional dose or a booster?

  • There are 3 approved vaccines: Pfizer/Comirnaty (2 doses); Moderna (2 doses); and J&J (1 dose).  Getting any of these series of initial doses are required prior to any further additional or booster shots.
  • An additional vaccine dose is given when someone’s immune response is potentially not strong enough to protect them after the first two initial doses.  People eligible for an additional dose: immunocompromised individuals
  • A booster dose is a third dose of the same vaccine of the original series for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The booster dose of the COVID vaccine is for a sufficient immune system, but the vaccine’s efficacy has likely lessened over time. 

Why do I need an additional dose or a booster?

Our number one tool against the COVID virus has proven to be effective vaccines.

People with compromised immune sytems are recommended to get an additional dose now to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine.

For the general public, the vaccine lessens the chances to get COVID-19.  In addition, if a vaccinated person does contract COVID-19, they experience less severe symptoms, lower the chance for hospitalization, or even death from COVID-19. The FDA and CDC have determined that a booster dose will help increase the vaccines ability to protect against the virus and have allowed certain groups to get a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Is the additional or booster dose of the vaccine different than the original shot I received?

No change has been made to the original vaccines at this time.  The additional or booster dose is a third shot of the same vaccine.  At this time, only people who received the Pfizer (now Comirnaty) are recommended to get a booster dose. 

No recommnedation for boosters has been made for Moderna or J&J.  We expect the FDA to approve a booster or additional dose for Moderna and the J&J vaccines within a few weeks.

What vaccine additional or booster shot should I get?

You should get a third shot of the same vaccine you received in the first series.  If you received Pfizer – then a Pfizer booster.  No booster has been recommended for Moderna or Janssen J&J vaccines however that information should be forthcoming within a few weeks.

PLEASE BRING YOUR VACCINE CARD TO BE UPDATED when you go for your additional or booster shot.  This will also allow the site where you go for the shot to verify and give you the third shot of the same vaccine.

People who received a Moderna or J&J vaccine are not recommended to get the additional or booster shot at this time.

Is there a cost for the additional or booster shot?

NO. There is no cost to you for the additional or booster shots.

Where can I get the recommended additional or booster shot of the vaccine?

DOHC and many of the existing COVID vaccine sites continue to provide the original series of the vaccine as well as the recommended additional or booster shots.

  • To schedule an appointment at one of the DOHC vaccine clinic sites, visit MYTURN.CA.GOV and select a date and time for your appointment.  You can find the link to MYTURN on our website at MYDOHC.COM
  • DOHC vaccine clinic appointments are offered in Palm Springs, Indio and Yucca Valley.
  • If one of the DOHC clinics is not convenient, many other vaccine locations are offered on the MYTURN.CA.GOV site

When should I get my additional or booster shot?

  • If you are immunocompromised, it is recommended that you get the additional dose of either the Pfizer/Comirnaty or Moderna shot now.
  • If you have not yet started the series of any of the 3 vaccines, you must get the first 2 doses of the Pfizer/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine.  The additional dose is a third dose of the same vaccine given at least 28 days after the second dose in the series. 
  • For the remainder of the general population the recommendation is to get the third dose of the Pfizer/Comirnaty vaccine 6 months after completing the original 2 dose series of Pfizer.  The effectiveness of the vaccines lessens over time, so getting the third dose too soon may not add the benefit of “boostering” the vaccine in your immune system. 
  • In general, the priority for getting the booster shots will follow the same original priority based on risk: age, occupation, etc. Here is a general rule of thumb for timing of when to get your booster shot:

Guide for 6-months after completing original series NOTE: immunocompromised should get an additional shot now.

Month Completed Original Series

Month to get Booster

December, January, February, March

September -October

April, May

November

June

December

July

January

August

February

September

March

CDC Booster Info

If you or someone you know has questions about receiving the available vaccines, please contact us through the DOHC Vaccine Hotline: 760-808-8400.

Thank you for your continued efforts to care for your own, your family’s, and the community’s health!

This is how we end a pandemic!

Need Help or Have Questions? Call our DOHC Helpline: 760-969-6555.

Remember, should you have any questions, please contact DOHC or visit our website for information at MyDOHC.com.

Contact Customer Service

Call 760-320-5134 or 800-500-5215 to reach Desert Oasis Healthcare's Customer Service Department. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our (TTY/TDD) line at 711.

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