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

Choosing Your COVID-19 Booster Shot

Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use in the United States to prevent COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (COVID-19 mRNA vaccines) are preferred.  You may get Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in some situations.

Who Can Get a Booster Shot

IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech


Who should get a booster:
Everyone 12 years and older

When to get a booster:
At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

Which booster should you get?
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most* situations

Teens 12–17 years old may only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster

IF YOU RECEIVED
Moderna


Who should get a booster:
Adults 18 years and older

When to get a booster:
At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

Which booster should you get?
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most* situations

IF YOU RECEIVED
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen*


Who should get a booster:
Adults 18 years and older

When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after receiving your J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination

Which booster should you get?
Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most* situations

*Although mRNA vaccines are preferred, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.

IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech

Who should get a booster:

  • Everyone 12 years and older

When to get a booster:

  • At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

Which booster can you get:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most* situations
  • Teens 12–17 years old may only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster

IF YOU RECEIVED
Moderna

Who should get a booster:

  • Adults 18 years and older

When to get a booster:

  • At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

Which booster can you get:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most* situations

IF YOU RECEIVED
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen*

Who should get a booster:

  • Adults 18 years and older

When to get a booster:

  • At least 2 months after receiving your J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination

Which booster can you get:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most* situations

*Although mRNA vaccines are preferred, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.

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.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

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.

If You Were Vaccinated Outside of the United States

If you completed a Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine primary series outside of the United States you should follow the guidance above for booster shots. 

Otherwise, if you were vaccinated abroad with other COVID-19 vaccines you can get a booster shot if you are 16 years or older and you either: 

If you meet the above requirements you can get a single booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after getting all recommended doses or completing a mix and match COVID-19 vaccine series.

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 and due to changes in variants.

  • Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent data pdf icon[1 MB, 68 pages] suggest their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older.
  • The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.
  • 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 getting infected with COVID-19. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent severe disease.