Director's Message September 3, 2021
VAPIHCS Veterans, Starting in mid-September, the CDC is expected to recommend a booster shot for anyone who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. When that begins, you should be able to get a booster shot 8 months after you received your second dose.
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.
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
If you are a Veteran or know of a Veteran who needs VA support and services, call 1-800-214-1306.
One Team, One Ohana!
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, CPE
Director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System
VADM, MC, USN, (RET)
36th Surgeon General, USN
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