In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rhode Island is now making Pfizer booster doses available to people who completed a primary series of Pfizer vaccine five months ago. Previously, people who completed a primary series of Pfizer vaccine needed to wait at least six months. The booster interval recommendations for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (two months) or the Moderna vaccine (six months) have not changed.

Additionally, Rhode Island is aligning with CDC guidance and is recommending that children age 5 to 11 who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional (third) dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose. This third dose is considered part of the primary series.  This is consistent with the guidance for moderately or severely immunocompromised adults. Because Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by people age 5 or older, moderately or severely immunocompromised children age 5 to 11 must get the Pfizer vaccine for this third dose.

“Our goal is to ensure that all Rhode Islanders receive a booster as soon as they are eligible to provide the added protection we need to keep ourselves and those around us safe,” said Governor Dan McKee. “It’s time for a boost, Rhode Island – if you haven’t already, I encourage you to make an appointment to get vaccinated or boosted today.” 

“Throughout this pandemic, we have updated our recommendations using the latest science to ensure that Rhode Islanders are getting the best protection,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “This is particularly important now, with the more contagious Omicron variant spreading in Rhode Island. If you or someone in your family is eligible for a third dose, make an appointment or head to a walk-up vaccination clinic today.”

People are considered moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

More information about what constituents moderately or severely immunocompromised is available online. At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized and recommended for children aged 5 to 11. 

General information about COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination sites is available at C19vaccineri.org.

Source: Rhode Island Department of Health

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).