COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
Everyone Ages 18 and Older Can Get a Booster Shot
IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna
You should get a booster if you are:
- Ages 50 years and older
- Ages 18 years and older and live in a long-term care setting
You may get a booster if you are:
- Ages 18 years and older
When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series
Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States
You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Some people may prefer 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.
Scheduling Your Booster Shot
If you need help scheduling your booster shot, contact the location that set up your previous appointment. If you need to get your booster shot in a location different from where you received your previous shot, there are several ways you can find a vaccine provider.
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines
People ages 50 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.
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 who are ages 18 years and older may get a booster shot based on their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.
All 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, for a total of two shots. A single dose of the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has lower vaccine effectiveness compared to two doses.
What to Expect during and after Your Booster Shot Appointment
- Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card to your booster shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your booster dose. If you did not receive a 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.
- You may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
- Use v-safe to tell CDC about any side effects. If you enter your booster shot in your v-safe account, the system will send you daily health check-ins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. COVID-19 booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, it is half the dose of the vaccine people get for their primary series.
So far, reactions reported after getting a booster shot were similar to those of the two-shot or single-dose primary series. You can use v-safe to tell CDC about any side effects. If you enter your booster shot in your v-safe account, the system will send you daily health check-ins. Fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-shot or single-dose primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.
Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.
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 older adults remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data 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 infection 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 vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is waning after the primary series, but protection remains high against severe disease and hospitalization. Clinical trial data show a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is effective in protecting against COVID-19, adding to other evidence demonstrating that a booster shot may result in increased effectiveness compared to primary vaccination.