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Sep 2021

What's the Difference Between the COVID-19 Vaccine "Additional" Third Dose

OCHD Also Renews Partnership with Senior Services to Provide Vaccine Assistance for Seniors
(Toms River) – We all know by now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending an “additional” third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, but you may not know what the difference is between an “additional” dose and the “booster” dose and which is the right one for you.
“We’ve had a lot of residents reach out and ask us what the difference is – if there’s a difference at all,” said Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer, Daniel Regenye. “The difference is that immunocompromised
people should receive the additional third dose 28 days after they received their second shot. The booster is for everyone else that would want the third dose. The current guidance is that the booster is available 8 months after a person received their second dose. However, that time frame could change in the coming days according to the CDC and we’ll certainly bring everyone up to date regarding that information as soon as it becomes available.”
Ocean County Commissioner Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health added, “The OCHD currently has plenty of vaccines with clinics available throughout the county. Whether it’s your third dose – or your first – the Ocean County Health Department continues this monumental effort to slow the transmission of this virus and move us closer to the end of the pandemic.”
Another question residents ask is how a person can determine if they are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised. The CDC provides the following information:
  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies,
  • Receipt of a solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy,
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy),
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as Di George syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome),
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection, and/or
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (~20mg prednisoneor equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
  • People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
With almost a quarter of all residents in Ocean County being senior citizens, a large portion of those individuals who needed assistance in receiving their first doses will more than likely again need special assistance making appointments and receiving a third dose.
The good news is that the OCHD is renewing their partnership with the Ocean County Office of Senior Services and Compass 82 to assist seniors with overcoming technical and transportation barriers and provide new homebound visits.
“The partnership was such a huge success earlier in the pandemic that we all decided we should pick up where we left off,” said Joseph H. Vicari, Ocean County Commissioner, and Chairman of Senior Services. “There are many seniors and disabled, along with their caregivers, that will need the booster or additional shot in the coming months. The OCHD, Compass 82 and the Office of Senior Services will now be back providing these crucial services to those eligible.” Proof of an individuals’ immunocompromised status is not required to make an appointment. The OCHD is requiring people to bring their current COVID-19 vaccination record card for either the additional or booster dose appointment.
For those who received the one-dose J&J vaccine, the CDC advises that there is not enough data at this time to determine whether people with a compromised immune system will also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine. It also does NOT recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this moment in time.
For a full list of COVID-19 clinics coming to a neighborhood near you, visit For more details regarding the additional and booster dose, visit:
Beginning on September 3, 2021, the COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Ocean County College will be open every Wednesday and Friday from 10am-1pm. The Ocean County College drive-thru clinic is located at 1 College Drive Lot #3, Toms River. Please note that this clinic will only offer PCR testing. No rapid tests will be administered at this time. Register at
Have a COVID-19 or vaccine-related question? Contact the OCHD Information Line at 732-380-5079. You can also follow the Ocean County Health Department on Twitter @OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook. Download the Ocean County Health Department mobile app free from the Google Play/Android and Apple APP stores.
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