What is the difference between a third dose and a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccines?

Coronavirus in Kansas

FILE – A pharmacy technician loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at a mass vaccination site at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Health Department has compiled the following information to help with the distinction of the third vaccine dose recommended to those who have a moderately or severely weakened immune systems (see definition below table) and the recently announced plan from the CDC to begin offering booster shots this fall subject to FDA, CDC and KDHE approval.

Who can Receive Another Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine? – A Comparison of Third Dose and Booster Dose

Last edited 08-19-21.This information is subject to change.

Information CategoryThird dose of COVID-19Booster dose of COVID-19 Proposed plan. Not approved by CDC or KHDE at this time.
When does this start?Sedgwick County is providing vaccines as of 8/18/21In September. The proposed date is the week of September 20. Sedgwick County providers must have CDC and KDHE approval before administering the booster dose.
Who is this for?People with certain conditions and treatments (weakened immune response)For the public
What other eligibility criteria?Two doses of Pfizer or Moderna with the second dose at least 28 days prior to the third doseTwo doses of Pfizer or Moderna with the second dose at least 8 months prior to receiving the booster
Do people have to have proof of first and second doses before receiving another dose?YesYes
What vaccines are involved?Pfizer and ModernaPfizer and Moderna
Are there other vaccines?NoPeople who received Johnson and Johnson (J&J) may be eligible for a booster. Studies are ongoing.
Applicable news releaseSedgwick CountyCDC
Has this been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?Yes, 8/12/21No
Has this been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?Yes, 8/13/21No
Has this been approved by Kansas Dept of Health and Environment (KDHE)?Yes, 8/13/21No
(Courtesy: Sedgwick County)

People who can receive the third dose must have one or more of the following conditions or treatments:

  1. Active treatment for solid tumor or hematologic malignancies
  2.  Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  3. Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  4. Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes)
  5. Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  6.  Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., > 20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, TNF blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

The conditions do not include those who are pregnant, residents of adult care homes, or those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and COPD unless they have a condition or treatment listed above.

This is a rapidly changing situation and updates will be provided as they occur. 

You can contact Sedgwick County at communications@sedgwick.gov or (316) 660-9370.

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