Q. Who is eligible to receive a booster dose?
A. All Coast Guard military members and employees are considered first responders meeting the high-risk occupational or institutional exposure criteria and are strongly encouraged to get a booster if their last Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose was six or more months ago. If a member received the Johnson and Johnson (J & J) vaccine, they should receive a booster dose of that vaccine two months after receiving the first dose.
Q. Do I have to prove I’m eligible?
A. Proof of occupation is not required to receive a booster. Personnel should refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine card, or contact their clinic, to verify six months have elapsed since their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months since their Johnson and Johnson (J & J) vaccine.
Q. Are booster doses recommended for all three types of vaccines?
A. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have now authorized booster doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J & J) COVID-19 vaccines. Any eligible CG member or employee is encouraged to get the booster.
Q. If I want to get a booster, when should I get it? How do I know when I might be due for a booster?
A. If you received either of the mRNA vaccines - Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna – you are eligible for a booster six months after the second dose of either vaccine. If you received the Johnson and Johnson (J & J) vaccine, you should receive a booster dose of the J & J vaccine two months after receiving the first dose.
Q. Where can I go to get a booster dose?
A. Booster doses for the Pfizer, Moderna are available at CG clinics and civilian pharmacies.
Q: If I think I am eligible for a booster, where can I get one?
A: Pfizer booster shots are available at USCG pharmacies, as well as other locations, including civilian healthcare providers and local pharmacies.
Q: How long will protection last following vaccination?
A: We are still learning about the duration of protection following infection with COVID-19 and it is too early to tell how long protection will last. In the meantime, CDC recommends staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines – The recommendations will be different depending on your age, your health status, and when you first got vaccinated.
If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, CDC has specific COVID-19 vaccine primary series and booster recommendations for you. Check your CDC shot card, talk to your PCP, or the site where you received your vaccine, or visit your state immunization registry if you have questions on when you received your vaccine. And, talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions on what you need to do to be up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC
Q: Can I still get sick with the COVID-19 disease once I have been vaccinated?
A: Vaccine breakthrough infections are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections. However, like other vaccines, they are not 100% effective.
- Fully vaccinated people with a vaccine breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19.
- Even when fully vaccinated people develop symptoms, they tend to be less severe symptoms than in unvaccinated people. This means they are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people who are not vaccinated.
- People who get vaccine breakthrough infections can be contagious.
See the following CDC information for the latest: Vaccine Breakthrough Infections: The Possibility of Getting COVID-19 after Getting Vaccinated (cdc.gov) You can read more from the CDC about the different COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html.
Q. Do I need to get a booster dose to be considered fully vaccinated?
A. A booster dose is not currently required to be in compliance with either the Coast Guard military or federal civilian employee vaccine mandate. Personnel are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Pfeizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the J & J vaccine.
Q. Can I “mix and match” my booster dose? In other words, can I receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that is different than the vaccine I received for my initial/primary series?
A. Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations now allow for “mix and match” dosing for booster shots. “Mix and match” COVID-19 vaccine administration for the primary series (first two doses) is NOT authorized except in exceptional circumstances.