In October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized booster doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J & J) COVID-19 vaccines.
All vaccines continue to be effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself, reduce the spread of the virus, and help prevent new variants from emerging.
Eligibility: Initial series of Pfizer or Moderna
There are some prerequisites regarding booster shots, depending on which initial vaccine you received. To be eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, at least six months must have elapsed after the receipt of the second dose of either vaccine and one of the following must apply:
- Be aged 65 years or older;
- Be ages 18-64 with an underlying high-risk condition;
- Age 18-64 and at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure due to occupation or institution.
All Coast Guard employees are eligible for a booster shot, as they are all considered first responders and meet the high-risk occupational or institutional exposure criteria. All Coast Guard employees are strongly encouraged to get a booster if their last Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose was six or more months ago.
Eligibility: Initial series of Johnson & Johnson
Everyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive a booster dose of the J & J vaccine at least two months after receiving their first dose.
CDC recommendations now allow for “mix and match” dosing for booster shots only. For example, someone who received an initial series of the Pfizer vaccine may receive a booster dose of Moderna or J&J.
However, please remember that if you are receiving either of the first two doses of the initial vaccination regime, both of those initial doses need to be from the same vaccine manufacturer.
Booster shot availability:
Coast Guard clinics will provide a booster to any member of the Coast Guard total workforce. Booster doses for the Pfizer, Moderna, and J & J vaccines are available at Coast Guard clinics and civilian pharmacies.
Coast Guard employees should bring their CDC vaccine card to the place of vaccination so the booster dose can be properly recorded.
Military members should refer to the CDC vaccine card, or contact their clinic, to verify that six months have elapsed since their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months since their J & J vaccine.
It is not required that you provide proof of occupation to receive a booster dose.
A booster dose is not required to maintain compliance with the military or civilian vaccination mandate. A person is still considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 more than two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) or more than two weeks after receipt of the single dose of the J & J vaccine.
Unvaccinated Coast Guard personnel must take steps to begin COVID-19 vaccination in order to protect themselves, along with their families and communities in accordance with ALCOAST 305/21 and EO 14043.
Please submit any questions to COVID19@uscg.mil.