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Brown County Public Health explains difference between booster, third dose

BROWN COUNTY — Brown County Public Health is explaining the difference between booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 3rd doses.

In mid-August, the federal government announced that plans were underway to begin distribution of booster doses for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Occasionally, the protection that is given by vaccination may decrease, making a booster dose necessary to give additional protection against the disease. This is called waning immunity. The FDA and the CDC are studying the data around vaccination to determine if or when a booster dose might be necessary.

At this time, booster doses have not been approved under the emergency use authorization for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Until the FDA approves booster doses, local vaccine providers are not authorized to give them.

Third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine have been approved under the emergency use authorization for people who have underlying health conditions that are known to prevent them from building up enough protection from their first two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. People who are eligible for a 3rd dose of the vaccine must fall into very specific immunocompromised categories. Medical providers and public health can provide additional information about the 3rd dose criteria to determine if a 3rd dose is recommended.

The COVID-19 vaccines are working. Not only do they give protection against the disease, but they have also shown to prevent severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and death in those who have been fully vaccinated.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, please reach out to your health care provider or Brown County Public Health. Vaccine clinics are available at the Brown County Public Health office each Thursday, 1:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

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