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.

Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters

Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters
Updated Oct. 4, 2022

What You Need to Know

Updated Boosters Are Recommended for Some People

CDC recommends that people ages 12 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:

  • Their final primary series dose, or
  • An original (monovalent) booster

People who have had more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.

About COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying. As with other vaccine-preventable diseases, you are protected best from COVID-19 when you stay up to date with the recommended vaccinations, including recommended boosters.

Four COVID-19 vaccines are approved or authorized in the United States:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Novavax
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) (However, CDC recommends that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only be considered in certain situations, due to safety concerns.)

Updated (Bivalent) Boosters

The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants. Learn more about variants of the COVID-19 virus.

Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters.

When Are You Up to Date?

You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC.

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations are based on three things:

  1. Your age
  2. The vaccine you first received, and
  3. The length of time since your last dose

People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines.

You are still up to date if you receive all COVID-19 vaccine doses recommended for you and then become ill with COVID-19. You do not need to be immediately revaccinated or receive an additional booster.

For Healthcare Workers: Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine schedules.

Getting Vaccines If You Had or Currently Have COVID-19

If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (whether a primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

Reinfection is less likely in the weeks to months after infection. However, certain factors, such as personal risk of severe disease, or risk of disease in a loved one or close contact, local COVID-19 Community Level, and the most common COVID-19 variant currently causing illness, could be reasons to get a vaccine sooner rather than later.

Children and teens ages 6 months–17 years

COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not on size or weight. Children get a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than teens and adults based on their age group.

Adults ages 18 years and older

1 Talk to your healthcare or vaccine provider about the timing for the 2nd dose in your primary series.

  • People ages 6 months through 64 yearsand especially males ages 12 through 39 years, may consider getting the 2nd primary Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax 8 weeks after the 1st dose.
    • A longer time between the 1st and 2nd primary doses may increase how much protection the vaccines offer, and further minimize the rare risk of myocarditis and pericarditis.
  • Anyone wanting protection due to high levels of community transmission, people ages 65 years and older, or people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, should get the second dose of:
    • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 3 weeks (or 21 days) after the first dose.
    • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine 4 weeks (or 28 days) after the first dose.
    • Novavax COVID-19 vaccine 3 weeks (or 21 days) after the first dose.

2 If you have completed your primary series, but are not yet eligible for a booster, you are also considered up to date.

Mixing COVID-19 Vaccine Products

Primary series

CDC does not recommend mixing products for your primary series doses. If you received Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax for the first dose of your primary series, you should get the same product for the 2nd dose in the primary series. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and receive a 3-dose primary series should also get the same vaccine brand for all 3 doses.

Boosters

The following information applies to boosters for children ages 5–11 years, teens ages 12–17 years, and adults ages 18 years and older. Children under age 5 years are not recommended to receive a booster at this time.

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

Learn About Getting Your Vaccine
  • Do you need to wait to get vaccinated after getting COVID-19 or getting treatment for COVID-19?
  • How can you prepare for vaccination?
  • What can you expect during and after your vaccination?
Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccination Received Outside the United States

Specific recommendations for people vaccinated outside the United States depend on whether:

  • The vaccine(s) received are accepted in the United States as valid vaccinations
  • The primary series was completed and, if eligible, a booster dose was received

These recommendations apply only to people who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised.