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 12/02/2021 at 2:01 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its guidance and recommends that everyone ages 18 and older should receive a booster shot.

IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

IF YOU RECEIVED
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

Who should get a booster:
Everyone 18 years or older
Who should get a booster:
Everyone 18 years or older
When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series.
When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination.
Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.
Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.
How to receive your COVID-19 booster through the University Employee Health Clinic
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:29 am

Eligible employees will receive an email from the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) letting them know when they can self-schedule their booster appointment. This message will come from UEHCReadySet@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

Employees may need to check their junk mail to find their notification email from UEHC.

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 ReadySet
Updated on 10/06/2021 at 9:20 am

Eligible employees who have received an email from the University Employee Health Clinic can follow the directions below to self-schedule their booster appointment.

Can I get a booster from the University Employee Health Clinic if I received doses 1 & 2 elsewhere?

Yes, you can reach still receive the booster through UEHC by emailing UEHCReadySet@healthcare.uiowa.edu. 

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 10/22/2021 at 10:47 am

We recommend that you receive the same brand of vaccine you received for your initial doses. However, some people may prefer to get a different booster type than they originally received for their first dose(s). CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. Consider talking with your provider to determine if mix and matching dosing for booster shots is best for you. 

Can I receive the booster vaccine at the same time as the flu vaccine?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:31 am

Yes, these two vaccines can be administered at the same time, though it is recommended that you receive them in separate limbs. The flu vaccine will be offered at the booster vaccination location through the University Employee Health Clinic.

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 can I expect from the booster vaccination?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:31 am

For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the booster vaccine is the same as the original two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (30 micrograms).

For Moderna’s vaccine, the two primary doses in the vaccine series are 100 micrograms. The booster dose is half of the original dosage of the first two vaccinations, 50 micrograms.

You should expect to have a similar reaction to the first two doses.

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. 

What if I can find an open vaccination appointment elsewhere, such as through a local pharmacy, before I find a time through UI Health Care?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:32 am

If you are eligible and can be vaccinated elsewhere, such as a local pharmacy, before we contact you for a vaccine appointment, we encourage you to accept that appointment so that you can get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is important, however, that you update your COVID-19 Immunization Survey in ReadySet to indicate that you have received your booster elsewhere.

If you do receive your vaccine elsewhere prior to your scheduled appointment, or need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, contact the University Employee Health Clinic at UEHCReadySet@healthcare.uiowa.edu or call 319-356-3631, Option 3.

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. 

If I’m fully vaccinated against COVID-19, why do I need a booster dose?
Updated on 10/22/2021 at 9:32 am

The COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. A booster dose will help strengthen protection against severe disease in populations that are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 or complications from severe disease.

What’s the difference between a booster dose and an additional dose?

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 contrast, a “booster dose” refers to another dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but then that protection decreased over time (this is called waning immunity).  

I am immunocompromised and received an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine. Am I eligible to receive a booster?
Updated on 12/03/2021 at 9:53 am

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series (Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna) and an additional primary dose are eligible to receive a booster shot.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine should not receive an additional primary dose. However, they should get a booster shot (you may choose the type of COVID-19 vaccine for your booster shot) at least 2 months after their single-dose J&J/Janssen primary shot.

You may be wondering what the difference between a booster dose and an additional dose is. Sometimes people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised do not build enough protection when they first get a vaccination. When this happens, getting an additional 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 contrast, a “booster dose” refers to another dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but then that protection decreased over time (this is called waning immunity).

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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