What’s the difference between a third shot and a COVID-19 booster?

Credito: WXYZ

There are many places to get the COVID-19 vaccine: the Detroit Health Department will come to you, the TCF Center has been a hub for administering it, including the booster shot. But there is also a third dose option.

And experts are saying it’s important to know the difference.

“I was ready for it. After I had the first two shots, and I had no problems. No complications whatsoever, I mean what do you have to lose,” said Audrey Lasalle Brown.

Audrey and her friend Gloria W. Jackson carpooled to get the COVID vaccine booster shot at the TCF Center on Monday. “We called earlier, and we were not allowed unless we had some underlying condition. And so we waited,” said Jackson. The two waited until the booster shot became available for people over 65. That age group, along with people who work in occupations at high risk of exposure to COVID, are eligible for the booster.

“The difference between a third shot and a booster shot is related to the type of people who are taking the vaccine,” said Dr. Iris Taylor, nursing director with the Detroit Health Department. The Detroit Health Department is working to clear up confusion over the two categories. Dr. Taylor explains the third shot is otherwise known as an “additional dose.”

“So that third shot is for that population of people who are immunocompromised, who have had cancer, who’ve taken high doses of steroids, who’ve had organ transplants, or who’ve taken medications that could have a negative impact on your immune system,” said Dr. Taylor.

The other difference between the two categories are the times you must wait to get the extra shot. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services tweeted an infographic, laying it out. It shows the booster shot is currently limited to recipients who originally got the Pfizer vaccine. The third shot or additional dose is only available via Pfizer and Moderna for the immunocomprised, like Delorise Williams.

“Ya know, it’s too many people dying man,” said Williams. As for those looking to get the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster, or the J&J third dose, Dr. Taylor says, “we need you to just be patient.”

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