COVID-19 vaccines: FDA approval, boosters and third dose for immunocompromised

September 7, 2021 Swedish Health Team


Updated Oct. 21, 2021: A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel has recommended boosters for the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines; we are awaiting further direction from CDC leadership and the Washington State Department of Health.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, we want to help you stay informed about the best ways to protect you and your loved ones.  

As you may have heard, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 16 and older. This is great news because it confirms that the vaccine is safe and effective for reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.  

Third dose for immunocompromised patients 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the FDA now recommend a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for ongoing protection against the virus for certain high-risk individuals or those with weakened immune systems. The additional dose has been authorized for Pfizer and Moderna.  

Booster shots for fully vaccinated people 

Pending authorization from the FDA and the CDC, booster shots for people who have already been fully vaccinated will be available to the broader public beginning the week of Sept. 20. Booster shots are recommended starting eight months after your second dose of the two-dose vaccines. Eligibility will be phased, with many health care providers, nursing home and long-term care residents, and other seniors among those who will likely be eligible first.

Learn more and get vaccinated 

We encourage you to learn more about the recent FDA approval and booster shots. We also invite you to talk with your physician if you have questions or think you’re eligible for a third dose of the vaccine or a booster shot.  

If you are eligible and able to get the vaccine, we encourage you to do so. Please call the Washington State Department of Health at 800-525-0127 or find a vaccination site near you.

Additional resources 


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