A COVID-19 booster dose or a third shot is necessary for people over the age of 65, adult residents of care homes, and employees in the fields of health care, social care and education, if more than half a year (six months) have passed since the course of vaccinations. The booster doses are administered with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Comirnaty regardless of what vaccine the person received earlier.
Those who have received a complementary dose (including an additional dose and a booster dose) are subject to the same exemptions as currently fully vaccinated persons. This means that if no more than a year has passed since receiving the complementary dose, an asymptomatic person who has received an additional or a booster dose does not have to stay in self-isolation as a close contact or when entering Estonia, may participate in events and activities, eat on the spot at restaurants etc. with a COVID certificate.
Who gets a booster dose and how?
If you meet the above mentioned requirements and at least six months have passed since your last shot:
65+ year olds
- Contact your family doctor. Booster shots are primarily administered by family doctors. If you are also planning on receiving a free flu vaccine from the family doctor, it is possible to receive both shots on the same day but preferably in different arms.
- If necessary, you can also get vaccinated in other nearby vaccination locations. Please book an appointment to the nearest vaccinator by phone or the digital registry of the medical institution itself -- it is currently not yet possible to book appointments for a third dose in the national digital registry.
- Important! Getting COVID-19 is very dangerous at a higher age and a booster dose lowers the risks significantly: according to Israeli data, in the 70+ age group, the infections decrease five times two weeks after receiving the third dose of the vaccine, getting sick decreases 11 times and severe infections almost 20 times.
Adult resident and employee of a care home:
- The vaccination is generally organised by the care home's provider of nursing services.
Employee in the field of education:
- The vaccination on school employees is organised by the school nurse who performs the vaccinations herself or directs the employees to the nearest vaccinator. In order to get vaccinated, contact your school nurse who will give you further instructions. NB! If the school nurse directs to the nearest vaccinator, the appointment needs to be booked by phone or from the digital registry of the medical institution. It is currently not yet possible to book appointments for third doses in the national digital registry.
- The employees of kindergartens, hobby schools and institutions of higher education can turn to the vaccinator of their county to get vaccinated.
Employees in the fields of health care and social care:
- Health care institutions generally vaccinate their staff themselves or direct them to the vaccinator of their county to get vaccinated.
- The employees in the field of social care can turn to the vaccinator of their county to get vaccinated.
For people with immune deficiency the booster dose means a fourth shot which should be administered when at least half a year has passed since the additional or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine -- consult your doctor about the necessity of a booster shot.
Based on current knowledge, a booster dose is not necessary for people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been vaccinated with one or two doses, and people who have been infected repeatedly.
Booster doses are also administered to other adults (starting from 18 years of age) who want them but no sooner than after eight months have passed since the end of the primary course of vaccinations. The booster shot can be received in the nearest vaccination location (see: vaktsineeri.ee).
What are the most common side effects of a booster dose or a third shot?
The post-vaccination reactions are similar to the side effects of the second dose: in the clinical studies, the most common were pain in the injection site and fatigue, less common were headache, muscle and joint pain and chills.