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Director's Message October 1, 2021

Director Robinson

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster vaccines have been approved under Emergency Use Authorization.

However, VAPIHCS does not carry the Pfizer vaccine

Please use this locator to find a Pfizer vaccine: Disease Outbreak Control Division | Vaccine Locator (

Individuals who should get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster include people who received a second dose Pfizer over 6 months ago AND are:

  • People 65 years and older OR
  • residents in long-term care settings
  • People 50 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago
  • Individuals who may opt to get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose, based on their individual benefits and risks, including:
  • People 18 to 49 years old with underlying medical conditions who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago
  • People 18 to 64 years old who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago

Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorized as a booster shot. FDA and CDC continue to review data to determine whether and when a booster might be recommended for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine(s). VA will plan to offer boosters of these vaccines if authorized and recommended. Call 1-800-214-1306 to schedule appointment. Persons coming in for a booster dose should bring their vaccine card with them.

Important points

Dose 3: for moderate to severe immune compromise as defined by CDC >28 days after dose 2 of a mRNA vaccine

Booster: For people over 65, people with certain risk factors, and in people at higher risk of getting infected due to their occupation. Currently approved for Pfizer only. We are still waiting on FDA review for guidance on Moderna and Jansen vaccines.

After you have COVID, you can still get vaccinated-you just must wait until you are clear of isolation.
Isolation is 10 days from symptom start date IF:

  • If you are not hospitalized AND
  • have a healthy immune system (ie, not on high dose steroids, actively being treated for cancer with generally intravenous chemotherapy, transplant recipient, other immune suppressing medications) AND
    you have had no fever for >24 hrs. without a fever-reducing medication AND
  • Your symptoms are improving
  • If you have been hospitalized for COVID or moderately-to-severely immune suppressed per CDC criteria, isolation is 20 days AND speak with your health care provider to be sure it is not longer active
  • If you have received a monoclonal antibody treatment, wait 90 days to get a COVID vaccine dose

It is not known if people with infection and full vaccination status should get boosters. You should discuss your risk of severe COVID with your provider in that case.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2 or COMIRNATY) has full FDA approval, and is authorized for booster doses. There is no additional dose FDA authorized or recommended by the CDC for those who received the Janssen COVID-19 at this time.

One Team, One Ohana!
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, CPE
Director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System

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