Skip to Content
Your browser is out of date. To use this website, please update your browser or use a different device.
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

COVID-19 vaccines and booster

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine. VA will have a limited amount of this vaccine to start. We’ve worked with the CDC and other federal partners to develop a phased plan. Our goal is to do the most good for the most people during this time.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA

We offer COVID-19 vaccines to these groups:

  • All Veterans (including Veterans who live or travel outside of the U.S. and are eligible for the VA Foreign Medical Program)
  • Spouses and surviving spouses of Veterans
  • Caregivers of Veterans (including family members or friends who provide care to a Veteran)
  • Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits

Latest on booster shots and additional doses

We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on booster shots and additional doses:

  • We now offer a third vaccine dose only to certain groups of people with weakened immune systems. 
  • We now offer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine boosters to certain people, based on CDC recommendations.

Learn more about booster shots and additional doses

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA New Jersey

We encourage you to get your vaccine as soon as you can. It’s the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community against COVID-19. This is especially important as new forms (or “variants”) of the coronavirus spread more quickly in the U.S.

How to get your first or second vaccine dose

  • Go to a VA New Jersey Health Care System vaccine clinic during walk-in hours or by appointment. Be sure to check the walk-in hours before you go. When you arrive, you may need to wait for the staff to prepare your vaccine.
  • Or call the facility to schedule an appointment. Our staff will help you find a time that’s convenient for you.

Here’s what to know before you arrive:

  • You must receive the same vaccine for both doses. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require 2 doses to be effective. Not all VA health facilities have both vaccines right now. And facilities may offer different vaccines at different times. Confirm that the facility has the vaccine you need before you come in to get your vaccine.
  • If you don’t receive care at VA, we encourage you to call at least 1 hour before you go to a walk-in clinic. This will save you time when you arrive.

Where we offer  COVID-19 vaccines

VA New Jersey Health Care System offers COVID-19 vaccines at three of our VA health facilities and clinics. 

We encourage you to go to the same location for both vaccine doses. But if it’s more convenient, you can go to any VA facility that offers the same type of vaccine as your first dose. 

Walk-in Vaccine clinics

East Orange – Building 17, Center for Health and Wellness

Tuesday and Thursday

9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET and 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET

Lyons – Building 143, Multi-purpose Room

Friday (walk-ins and scheduled appointments)

9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET and 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET

If you’re interested in receiving specifically the single dose vaccine(Jansen), please contact the patient scheduling teams listed below.

Patient Contact Information

Brick – 855-672-1982, press Option 3

East Orange – 800-315-7909, press Option 3

Lyons – 855-301-3490, press Option 3

How to get your additional dose or booster shot if you’re eligible

VA New Jersey Health Care System now offers additional vaccine doses only to certain groups of people with weakened immune systems. We offer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine boosters to certain people, based on CDC recommendations.

Learn more about booster shots and additional doses


 

COVID-19 booster shots and additional doses

We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 booster shots and additional vaccine doses. Read this page for the latest updates.

The difference between an additional dose and a booster shot

Getting an additional vaccine dose

Who can get an additional vaccine dose

The CDC now recommends a third vaccine dose for certain groups of people with weakened immune systems who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Data shows that these groups of people are more at risk of serious, long-term illness from COVID-19. They may benefit from a third dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19.

You may be able to get a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine if any of these descriptions are true for you:

  • You currently receive cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • You have advanced HIV (meaning you have a low CD4 cell count) or you have HIV and aren’t on treatment at this time
  • You received an organ transplant and take medicine to suppress your immune system
  • You received a stem cell transplant within the past 2 years or are taking post-transplant medicine to suppress your immune system
  • A health care provider has diagnosed you with a moderate-to-severe primary immunodeficiency (like DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) 
  • You currently take high-dose corticosteroids or other medicines that may suppress your immune system

If your condition or medication isn’t on this list and you think you have a moderately to severely weakened immune system, contact your health care provider. They can tell you if you can get a third vaccine dose at this time.

If you received the Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC doesn’t recommend another dose at this time.

What to know before you get a third vaccine dose

You need to get the same vaccine for all 3 doses. You should get your third dose at least 28 days after your second dose. You don’t need to get your third dose at the same facility where you got your first 2 doses.

Not all VA health facilities have both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna right now. And facilities may offer different vaccines at different times. Confirm that the facility has the vaccine you need before you schedule an appointment for your third dose. And bring your vaccine record card with you when you come in so we can record your third dose.

How to get your third vaccine dose at VA if you’re eligible

If you’re a Veteran who receives health care through VA

If you’re eligible for a third vaccine dose based on the information in your VA health record, we’ll contact you when we have a vaccine for you. This may take some time. 

If we don’t contact you, you can call or send a secure message to your VA health care team. They can tell you if you can get a third dose at this time and help you schedule an appointment.

Find your local VA health facility

Send a secure message to your VA health care team

If you don’t receive health care through VA, but you got your first 2 doses at VA

If you’re eligible for a third vaccine dose, you may be able to get your third dose at VA. Visit your local VA facility’s website or call to find out. 

Find your local VA health facility

You can also contact your primary health care provider or a location that provides COVID-19 vaccines in your community.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you at vaccines.gov

Learn more about additional COVID-19 vaccine doses on the CDC website


 

Getting a booster

At this time, we can only provide Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shots, based on CDC guidance. The FDA and CDC continue to review data to determine if they’ll recommend booster shots for the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines. We must wait for guidance before we can provide booster shots for these other vaccines.

Who should get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot

The CDC recommends that these groups should get a booster shot if they completed their Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccination series at least 6 months ago:

  • People who are at least 65 years or old
  • People who live in long-term care facilities
  • People who are 50 to 64 years old and have an underlying medical condition

Check the CDC’s list of underlying medical conditions

Who may opt to get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot

The CDC recommends that these groups may opt to get a booster shot if they completed their Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccination series at least 6 months ago:

  • People who are 18 to 49 years old and have an underlying medical condition (based on their individual benefits and risks), or
  • People who are 18 to 64 years and are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their job or living in an institutional setting (based on their individual benefits and risks)

Check the CDC’s list of underlying medical conditions

How to get a booster shot at VA New Jersey

You can only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster if you completed your Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series. You must get the same type of vaccine for all doses.

If you’re a Veteran who receives care through VA

If the CDC recommends that you should get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, your local VA health facility will contact you when you’re due for your shot. This is 6 months after you completed your primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series.  Bring your COVID-19 vaccination card when you come to get your booster.

We’ve started providing boosters by appointment only at VA New Jersey COVID-19 vaccine clinics that offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

East Orange 

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-2:45pm, Building 17, Center for Health and Wellness

Lyons 

Fridays, 9:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-2:45pm, Building 143, Multi-purpose room

Brick 

Thursdays, 9:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-2:45pm, Main Building, room 218

If you don’t receive care through VA or if you received your vaccine outside of VA

If the CDC recommends that you should get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, contact your local VA health facility to find out how you can get your shot. Bring your COVID-19 vaccination card when you come in.

Find VA health facilities near you that offer COVID-19 vaccines

You can also contact your primary health care provider or a location that provides COVID-19 vaccines in your community.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you at vaccines.gov

More information about getting your vaccine at VA

It’s always your choice if you want to get a vaccine or not. Your decision won’t affect your VA health care or any of your VA benefits in any way.

If you have questions before you decide to get your vaccine:

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy or breastfeeding

Get COVID-19 vaccine advice from Veterans and VA health care providers

Send a secure message to your VA health care provider

Last updated: