Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
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

NewEveryone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot

Everyone Ages 18 and Older Should Get a Booster Shot

IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna


Who should get a booster:
Everyone 18 years or 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.

IF YOU RECEIVED
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen


Who should get a booster:
Everyone 18 years or older

When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination.

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 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 appointmentIf 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. 

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

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 variants may decrease over time.

Although COVID-19 vaccination remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data pdf icon[1 MB, 68 pages] suggest vaccination becomes less effective over time, especially in people aged 65 and older and at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms.

  • The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant and the potential for immune evasion.
  • 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 clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 6 months earlier or who received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent COVID-19 with symptoms.