How can I get a second dose after the J&J vaccine?
July 21, 2021 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I got the J&J vaccine this spring because it was the first available appointment. I'd like to get a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna because of the Delta variant, especially after a report yesterday about J&J potentially being ineffective against Delta.

I know this is possible in Canada, but what can I do in the U.S. (California)? If you have done this or know someone who has, please let me know. I have been hoping that a booster shot would be officially recommended, but I'd like to do this now even if it's not. The pharmacist I asked said that they couldn't do it.
posted by pinochiette to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
"Couldn't do it" likely means they can't bill the government for it. Just go to a different pharmacy (I got my two Modern sticks at RiteAid) and collect a new vax card.
posted by SPrintF at 9:31 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Here's a recent article about it, including notes from people who have done it, some of them infectious disease experts.

In sum: it's possible via a clinical trial (if one is open in your area, and there's no guarantee you wouldn't be getting a placebo), a doctor who is willing to take the (probably low but not fully known) risk of giving the shot against current guidelines, or going to a public vaccination site offering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and saying you haven't been vaccinated yet and are uninsured. The last option is easiest but also morally and legally questionable, although that US News article does end by describing how one person did just that.
posted by jedicus at 9:35 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


A "second dose" is just another first dose. So you could lie about your vaccination status and get a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna
posted by O9scar at 9:38 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


First, talk to a doctor, maybe to your state's public health dept., and see what their recommendation is. if they recommend another vax, ask for their assistance getting it.
posted by theora55 at 9:40 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I had the same situation. I went to Walgreens as a walk in.

Pfizer has a recommended 42 day gap, but even afterwards, a few additional weeks are okay.
posted by firstdaffodils at 9:42 AM on July 21


J&J is not ineffective against the Delta variant.

If you’re referring to this study, it’s a preprint that’s shows antibody titers in people vaccinated with J&J were modestly lower against the variants than against the original strain. However we don’t know what this means in the real world yet; based on modeling cited in the study, the authors speculate that the J&J vaccine will provide somewhat less protection against the Delta variant compared to the original strain, but will still protect against severe disease.

That said. If you want to get a shot of an mRNA vaccine, your easiest options are probably either to lie about your vaccination status and get a first dose, or wait, and hope that the FDA approves booster shots and the US makes them widely available.
posted by mekily at 10:09 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Please don't lie to get another vaccine. There are a lot of immunocompromised people who legitimately need a booster shot, based on medical guidance and clinical studies. If people who got the J&J shot need to get the mRNA vaccine, there will be a proper procedure to follow. Don't jump the line.
posted by twelve cent archie at 10:24 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


In the US, there’s no line to jump, we are throwing away doses at an alarming rate. I know people who have tried to do this and they have been turned away either because the clinic checks the state database or their insurance flags it. So if you choose to do so, you need to say you do not have insurance and ideally go to a clinic that is not checking ID.
posted by mcgsa at 10:32 AM on July 21 [37 favorites]


As an FYI, J&J is not being used in Canada. Canada is allowing mixed doses of two-dose vaccines, so AZ first and Moderna second, Pfizer first, Moderna second, etc..
posted by TORunner at 10:40 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


I’m not advising you what to do, just letting you know that the vaccine registration system is a different system in each state. So for example if you got vaccinated in Virginia, then go to North Carolina, there’s no system for them to look you up in across state lines. Many sites don’t require insurance information but I’m not sure if they might figure out a different way to bill insurance from just name and DOB.

So if you show up in a new state looking to get vaccinated and aren’t using insurance, there’s little to no reason why you would be flag and anything other than you getting a new card would happen.
posted by raccoon409 at 10:58 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


There are a lot of immunocompromised people who legitimately need a booster shot, based on medical guidance and clinical studies. If people who got the J&J shot need to get the mRNA vaccine, there will be a proper procedure to follow. Don't jump the line.

The poster is in California. Not only is there no line to jump in the US, where we're all but giving vaccines away in boxes of breakfast cereal, there's also no proper procedure for immunocompromised people to get a booster in the US yet, either. The CDC will begin discussing it this week.
posted by jedicus at 11:06 AM on July 21 [24 favorites]


Yes. There's no proper procedure for immune compromised people, which is why we are waiting to hear what to do before getting a booster -- despite very clear medical evidence that immune compromised people benefit from a booster shot. This is not about line jumping; it's about listening to the experts and following their medical guidance. We've had far too many people in the US making up their own rules throughout the pandemic. This question can't actually be answered by someone who is not a medical expert, and they are telling people to wait. Do with that what you will, I guess.
posted by twelve cent archie at 11:24 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


There are also experts out there who are doing exactly what the OP wants to do and advocating for it. The next wave is moving much faster than our regulatory system.
posted by mcgsa at 11:27 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


your easiest options are probably either to lie about your vaccination status and get a first dose, or...

This probably depends on your local authorities: in my area (N. Cal) the county maintains a database that records my identity and vaccination status. To get another shot I'd have to commit identity fraud; if I lied about my status they'd catch me.
posted by aramaic at 11:45 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Or, you can not take medical advice from the news, and wait until the CDC advises you to get a booster. Until that point, avoid crowded areas, resume wearing a mask when you're indoors with strangers, and only hang out indoors with people that you know are vaccinated.

I'm a J&J recipient, and that's what I'm doing.
posted by vitout at 1:23 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


As a fellow J&J vaccine recipient, I think that vitout has the right idea.

I'm going to follow the advice of the people who know what COVID findings are valid.
posted by virago at 2:28 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Best answer: I think the only way in California right now is to ask your personal doctor. They may well say no. Everyone who is vaccinated is in a database and places like MyTurn, CVS and Safeway are not letting vaccinated people sign up for an extra jab.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:08 PM on July 21


I will be doing this when I get back to the USA next month. I got J&J in Europe and have to teach in-person this fall in NYC. My plan is to not volunteer my vaccination status and if they ask I will lie. Unfortunately, the CDC has squandered most of the institutional trust it had after mismanaging the pandemic and failing people so hard. Also unfortunately, the US is sitting on millions of doses on the cusp of expiration that will not be shared with other countries, and vaccination rates are leveling off. So far, the studies I have read deal with AZ followed by an mRNA second dose or booster. Open access review here from Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01805-2
posted by butterbean at 3:55 AM on July 22 [2 favorites]


« Older Recommend a Forum Platform   |   How to automate downloading photos from daycare... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments