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How do I get the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? What if I got my first shot in a different state?

Last Updated: 10/04/2021

Everyone should receive two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for maximum protection against the virus.

If you have already received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the second shot increases the vaccine's effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 to 94%. Two weeks after your second dose, you will be considered fully vaccinated and able to resume activities that you stopped because of the pandemic.

The second dose of the vaccine must be the same brand as the first. These vaccines are not interchangeable.

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine only requires a single dose. You do not need to get a second dose of the Janssen vaccine.

Note: The FDA and CDC have authorized and recommended that severely or moderately immunocompromised individuals should get an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect from the highly transmissible Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. Learn more about who is eligible and how to get an additional shot.

Second Dose Location

There is currently widespread vaccine availability across the United States.

Residents can get their second dose at any vaccine location and do not need to return to the site where they received their first dose. Use the Vaccine Appointment Finder to make an appointment for your second dose at any vaccination location.

Second Dose Timing

It is recommended that individuals get their second dose as close to the recommended date as possible:

  • For Pfizer: 21 days after first dose
  • For Moderna: 28 days after first dose

However, if you missed your appointment, it is not too late. There is no known loss of efficacy of the second dose as long as someone receives the second dose within six weeks of receiving their first dose.


The State's toll-free vaccination hotline (1-855-568-0545) is available from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week to register individuals in the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System, answer questions about the vaccine, provide contact information for sites, and check registration status.

Source: COVID-19 Briefings;