Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

Some COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Can Get Booster Shots

  • People 65 years and older, 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot.
  • People 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. 

IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna


You are eligible for a booster if you are:

When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after your second shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States

IF YOU RECEIVED
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen


You are eligible for a booster if you are:
18 years or older

When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after your second shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States

Choosing Your COVID-19 Booster Shot

You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

IF YOU RECEIVED

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Older adults age 65 years and older

People ages 65 years and older should get a booster shot. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions.

Long-term care setting residents ages 18 years and older

Residents ages 18 years and older of long-term care settings should get a booster shot. Because residents in long-term care settings live closely together in group settings and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions, they are at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.

People with underlying medical conditions ages 50–64 years

People ages 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should get a booster shot. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions.

People with underlying medical conditions ages 18–49 years

People ages 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot based on their individual risks and benefits. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 can increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.

People who work or live in high-risk settings ages 18–64 years

People ages 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot based on their individual risks and benefits. Adults who work or reside in certain settings (e.g., health care, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters) may be at increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19, which could be spreading where they work or reside. That risk can vary across settings and based on how much COVID-19 is spreading in a community. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.

Examples of workers who may get COVID-19 booster shots: [ 1 ]

  • First responders (e.g., healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Education staff (e.g., teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

List could be updated in the future.

IF YOU RECEIVED

J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

People ages 18 years and older who received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago should get a booster shot. The J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has lower vaccine effectiveness over time compared to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).

Your Vaccination Card and Booster Shots

At your first vaccination appointment, you should have received a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Bring this vaccination card to your booster shot vaccination appointment.

If you did not receive a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Data Supporting Need for a Booster Shot

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with the Delta variant may decrease over time.

Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults ages 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data pdf icon[5 MB, 88 pages] suggest vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms over time.

  • Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is also decreasing over time.
  • This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated, as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant.

Data from small clinical trials show that a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their initial series 6 months earlier. A similar clinical trial showed that a J&J/Janssen booster shot also increased the immune response in participants who completed their single-dose vaccine at least 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.