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COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters and Additional Doses

November 2, 2021

Dear Campus Community, 
I am writing with an update on receiving boosters or additional doses of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends, that people who meet one or more of the criteria below are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster:
  • Received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago and are age 18 or older.
  • Received a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine at least six months ago and:
    • Are age 65 or older;
    • Live in a long-term-care facility;
    • Are age 18 or older and have an underlying medical condition that could put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19; or
    • Are age 18 or older and work or live in a location that puts them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Due to the relative density of our campus -- in residence halls and classrooms -- all students, faculty and staff are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster.
The FDA has also determined that individuals may choose which COVID-19 vaccine they receive as a booster shot. Some people may prefer the vaccine type they originally received, and others may choose to get a different booster. CDC's recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. Dosing may vary depending on vaccine type and medical condition for each individual.
In addition, the CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. This is different from receiving a vaccine "booster." Studies have found that some immunocompromised people don't always build the same level of immunity after vaccination the way non-immunocompromised people do and may benefit from an additional dose to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19.
We recommend that you talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about whether you should receive a booster or additional shot, or if you are not sure which booster is right for you.
We encourage eligible individuals to use any of the following resources to get a booster or additional dose:
  • On campus, the University Health Center offers Pfizer vaccine boosters. The health center does not offer Moderna or J&J boosters at this time. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit
  • In the community, retail pharmacies, clinics and local and state vaccination sites also offer booster appointments and some locations may offer walk-up vaccination times.
  • You may also look up available vaccine sites at the State of Maryland vaccine locator website.
Stay well,
Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA, FACP
Director, University Health Center
Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland

PS: Finally, if you have not yet received your flu shot, this would be a good time to do so. Flu shots are available on campus. Obtaining a flu shot is another critical part of keeping our campus community healthy during this fall and winter season.

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