COVID-19 vaccine booster program begins

We started our COVID-19 vaccine booster program for UI Health Care faculty and staff on Monday, Sept. 27. Our goal is to provide an appointment to all UI Health Care staff who wish to receive a booster. The campaign started with Pfizer-BioNTech as the first authorized vaccine booster, and now includes the Moderna vaccine as well.   

Eligible faculty and staff will receive an email invitation from University Employee Health Clinic when it is their time to book a vaccine booster dose appointment. From that email link, an appointment may be scheduled at a time that is convenient.

COVID-19 vaccinations and flu vaccinations are held in the University Employee Health Clinic, 1097-1 Boyd Tower.

Learn more about scheduling your first or second vaccine doses.

Answers to your questions 

Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
Updated on 05/11/2022 at 10:00 pm

COVID-19 vaccine boosters can further enhance or restore protection that might have waned over time after your primary series vaccination.

People are protected best from severe COVID-19 illness when they stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes a booster for many people.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have authorized a second booster dose of these COVID-19 vaccines for adults ages 50 and older—and other select individuals—at least four months after receiving their first booster dose of any approved COVID-19 vaccine.

There are different COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

Read more about who is eligible for boosters and when you should or may receive a booster dose from the CDC.

Which vaccines are the University Employee Health Clinic offering?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:33 am

UEHC is offering first, second, and booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

UEHC will not offer the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine through the University Employee Health Clinic, though this vaccine is widely available through community pharmacies.

You can also receive your flu vaccination through UEHC, which can be administered at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.

How to schedule your booster appointment through the University Employee Health Clinic
Updated on 05/11/2022 at 3:04 pm

Employees can schedule their booster (or first or second doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine through the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) by following the directions below.

You can also email UEHC UEHCReadySet@healthcare.uiowa.edu or call 319-356-3631 if you cannot self-schedule in ReadySet.

Can I get a booster from the University Employee Health Clinic if I received doses 1 & 2 elsewhere?
Updated on 05/11/2022 at 3:05 pm

Yes, you can reach still receive the booster through UEHC by following the directions in the question above.

Can I mix and match vaccines? For example, if I received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, can I receive a booster of the Moderna vaccine?
Updated on 04/06/2022 at 10:05 am

Yes, vaccines may be mixed and matched.

Your first booster does not need to match your primary vaccination series, nor does your second booster need to match your first booster. For example, you could have Johnson & Johnson as your primary vaccination series, Pfizer-BioNTech as your first booster, and Moderna as your second booster.

However, it is recommended that individuals receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines as a booster in most situations—regardless of the vaccine you received as part of your primary vaccination series.

If you have questions or concerns, please consult your primary care provider.

If I received a non-FDA authorized or FDA approved vaccine, am I eligible to receive a booster?

People who completed all of the recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine which is listed for emergency use by the WHO but is not approved or authorized by FDA, or people who completed a heterologous (mix and match) series composed of any combination of FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Are considered fully vaccinated.
  • Under the Emergency Use Instructions (EUI), moderately or severely immunocompromised people aged ≥12 years should receive an additional primary dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (30 µg formulation [purple cap]) at least 28 days after receiving the second vaccine dose of their primary series.
  • Under the EUI, people aged ≥18 years (including moderately or severely immunocompromised people who received an additional primary dose) should receive a single booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (30 µg formulation [purple cap]) at least 6 months after completing their primary series.

WHO has listed the following COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use:

    • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (e.g., BNT162b2, COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
    • AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine (e.g., [ChAdOx1-S (recombinant)], AZD1222, Covishield, Vaxzevria)
    • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine (e.g., Ad26.COV2.S)
    • Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (e.g., mRNA 1273, Takeda, Spikevax)
    • Sinopharm-BIBP COVID-19 Vaccine
    • Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 Vaccine
    • Bharat Biotech International COVID-19 Vaccine (e.g., BBV152, COVAXIN)
What should I bring with me to my appointment?

Please remember to bring your employee ID badge and your vaccination card with you to your appointment. 

What are the common side effects of the booster vaccination?
  • Arm pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
Do I have to receive my COVID-19 booster through the University Employee Health Clinic?

No. However, it is important you update your COVID-19 Immunization Survey in ReadySet to indicate that you have received your booster elsewhere. 

Will employees be paid if they come into work during unscheduled time to receive the booster vaccine?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:32 am

Hourly employees and non-exempt employees, who normally badge in ELMS, will be paid for the time spent receiving the vaccine through the University Employee Health Clinic. There is a badge reader located in the vaccination clinic.

How do I check when I received my last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:32 am

You can view the date of your last COVID-19 vaccination on your COVID-19 vaccine card.

If you received your initial COVID-19 vaccinations through the University Employee Health Clinic, you can also view this information by logging into ReadySet. Once in ReadySet, choose “Results” under Test Results on the left-hand menu. In the list to the right, choose “COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) IMMUNIZATION RECORD,” and “Date vaccine administered,” and in the middle of the page it will show the date it was received.

When am I considered fully vaccinated?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:32 am

You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing a two dose mRNA vaccine series (like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines), or two weeks after the one dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. 

What’s the difference between a booster dose and an additional dose?
Updated on 04/06/2022 at 10:08 am

Sometimes people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised do not build enough protection when they first get a vaccination. When this happens, getting another dose of the vaccine can sometimes help them build more protection against the disease.

This appears to be the case for some immunocompromised people and COVID-19 vaccines. In these cases, the additional dose is considered part of their original COVID-19 vaccination series. Certain immunocompromised individuals require three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines as their primary series instead of the two doses required by the general population. Similarly, certain immunocompromised individuals require two doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine as their primary series, instead of the one dose required by the general population.

In contrast, a “booster dose” refers to another dose of a vaccine given to someone who built enough protection after their primary COVID-19 vaccination series (two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech/Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson). Over time, immunity provided by the vaccines starts to decrease—something known as “waning immunity.” Booster doses are administered to re-strengthen immunity against the COVID-19 virus.

I am immunocompromised and received an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine. Am I eligible to receive a booster?
Updated on 04/06/2022 at 10:13 am

If you are age 18 or older and received an additional dose of the Moderna vaccine, or age 12 years or older and received an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, you are eligible for boosters.

View a full breakdown of first and second boosters.

6 comments

  1. If someone has already received two doses of Pfizer over 6 months ago, are they still considered fully vaccinated if they decline the booster dose? If they do receive a booster dose, does it take 2 weeks after the booster is given before they are considered maximally protected, similar to the 2 weeks needed after the second dose?

    • Hi Theresa,
      Thanks for you questions. If you are not immunocompromised, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing a two dose mRNA vaccine series (like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines), or two weeks after the one dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

      If you are immunocompromised, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the two dose mRNA vaccine series (like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) plus the additional vaccine dose. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the one dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

      It will take about two weeks after the booster to reach optimal protection.

  2. I will be receiving my flu shot at the HSSB building. Would I be able to receive my vaccine booster at that time?

    • Hi James,
      When you’re eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, you’ll receive an email from the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) letting you know when you can self-schedule your booster appointment. Currently, these booster appointments are available through the University Employee Health Clinic on main campus. However, if you’re eligible for a booster and would like to get it at the same time as your flu vaccination, we do offer both (which you can get at the same time) in the Pediatric Conference Center (Elevator F, Level 2) of main campus.

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